måndag 2 januari 2017

Kpop: Top 40 of 2016

One year ago, while having a number of great hits to take with me from 2015, I had the feeling that kpop or/and my passion for kpop was fading, and that I would see fewer good songs in 2016 and further on. And then came the best kpop year in the five years I have been listening to kpop!
For the first time ever I had, really had, to make a top 40 instead of top 20. There are just so many good songs to share. Enjoy!

40. We are the night - You Are In. Dreamish and unique indie kpop.

39. U-Kiss - Stalker. The creepiest theme of the year, but they somehow makes it work with super-tight singing and kpop polish.

38. Fiestar - Mirror. I still don't quite get why this song doesn't work as it should. The production and the look (wow, the look!) is just up the charts, but then it just kind of never takes of. Like a dark depressive circle. A beautiful one, but still.

37. Two X - Over. Watch those girls. This is how to do charm, and it shows how much it means for the deliverance of a song.

36. School OZ - One Day One Chance. Basically and ad for a kpop musical, it made my fantasy/kpop heart all fuzzy.

35. Wheesung - Hold Over. Beyond having this years best product placement (Fashionable(!) DHL tee, anyone...?), he showed us charm tops seriousness again and again.

34. Mino - Body. Giving us his semi-crazy side, this is super sexy music. Heavy and slow, but still oh-so-rhythmic.

33. Kiha & The Faces - The Smell's Gone. Superb style and refrain and lyrics.

32. Jay Park - Aquaman. The "Man of Kpop" finally found his ultimate expression of sexuality and musical R&B in this song.

31. Taewan - Problem. The edgy passion is superb in this song, song that focuses on his voice. You really don't need anyomre to make a great song.

30. Lovelyz - Destiny. If I think of a video that made the most of a song in 2016, Destiny is the one that coems to mind. Watch the video on audio first, and then the FULL video, and you get my point.

29. Stellarjet. Singing in english, they are a kind of oddity in this list. Still I feel they have a place here, as an alternative example of modern musical kpop.

28. Stellar - Sting. Somehow, the girls who went to slutty-sexy and then returned having mastered the concept somehow got almost to, well, intellectual about it all. I can't put my finger on it but I think they took the "be ironic about the sexualizing" too far. This still means that their videos are must-sees, but they need some more passion to really make it for me.

27. Icia - Time Bomb. This is the best of this years "we will do our best but our company is too poor so it wont probably matter" debuting girl kpop groups. Time Bomb is super catchy and makes the best of its limits.

26. I.O.I - Very Very Very. Yes, it is hard to shake the took a number on Red Velvet's concept, but they did in a quality way. A song that balances on the border of catchy and irritating.

25. Eric Nam ft Loco - Can't Help Myself. He can't help himself, and why should he - he really has top notch charm both visually and vocally.

24. CSP ft Kayla - Busan Girls. Nostalgic praise to South Korea's southern metropolis, and we totally got it.

23. Clazziquai Project - #Curious. They have a history of knowing how to craft R&B of the best kpop kind, and this was a rockpop example of that.

22. Mamamoo - Taller Than You. They have the best attitude to voice skills ratio in the kpop world, and this song was my best case of proof this year.

21. Fei - Fantasy. You know an artist has quality when she and her company delivers this kind of superb debut video. Not surprised, mind you.

20. Song Ji Eun - Bobby Doll. It seems effortless but she has something that makes all her songs work really well.

19. Yoo Jae Yuk & EXO - Dancing King. This is actually kind of one of EXO's most odd videos, but has a killer beat so that doesn't matter at all. Rather, it makes it better.

18. Fantastic Drugstore - Before Sunrise. A sweet indie voice that combined with instruments creates a perfect airy feeling, lifting the song to the skies.

17. VIXX. With hits like The Closer, Dynamite and Fantasy, they really are the strongest boy band the last few years. They have such a high level of deliverance.

16. Luna - Free Somebody. This is so far the best song to come out of SMTown's PROJECT line of EDM and alternative songs. Luna from f(x) made this shine.

15. Red Velvet - Russian Roulette. In some ways, this is the most memorable song in kpop of 2016. It had its really unique id, where Red Velvet's niche became totally clear. Their rhythm and perky styling flowering out for real in this video.

14. Exo - Lucky One. At the moment of writing, the co-release "Monster" has 2.5 times the number of watches on YouTube, but I like my songs polished and uptempo, so this was ever my favorite.

13. Dal Shabet - Someone like you. I still can't get over that this felt like a cute version of 2015' "Big Baby Baby", but when I saw beyond that, it s still one of the best kpop songs this year.

12. Elo - Rose. The mix of melancholy and sweet romance is great in this "real" solo debut.

11. Drug Restaurant - Mistake. Jung Joon Young has the best voice in kpop. Period. When he sings rockpop the world stops.

10. Blackpink - Playing with fire. The second coming of 2NE1 in my eyes, these rookies showed us how to make a real debut without hesitating a second.

9. EXO-CBX - Hey Mama! Damn, they are charming, and then they have the vocals to double that feeling. Wow.

8. Joosuc ft Sanchez - I Kno. He takes you on a musical sweet fantasy ride like one you never want to stop.

7. Jero ft Giriboy - Airplane. Such a golden voice, it almost forces my body to stand up and dance.

6. Jun Hyo Seung - Find Me. Yes, she has superb charisma but it is the fell singing and choreography of her videos that makes it so worthwile. She really has no weak points #yessomebias

5. Twice - TT. Perfect choregraphy by Lia Kim really made me see this song in a new light. It was a catchy song tobegin with but her cool dance video made me see beyond the original, slightly cheesy Halloween video.

4. SHINee - 1 on 1. Everyone can do retro, but few can make it feel truly updated and *having a point*. It may be the maturity of the boys of SHINee or the general aestethics of kpop, but they really made a perfect 80s sounding track.

3. Bubble X - Hit It. This years outsider and big surprise, they warmed up the snow with their charm and funky pop disco last January.

2. Sistar - I Like That. When this came out I knew instantly this would be one of this years top 3 songs, and it is really THE definition of Sistar - sexy, tight production and a focused rhythm like no one else does it in kpop.

1. Up10tion - Attention. It really is a perfect kpop song. The boys has it all and delivered perfection.

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