Favourite Kpop songs of 2018

by: Jeffrey posted: 9 months ago

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With 2018 firmly behind us, it is time for the traditional annual favourite songs post. Even though I didn’t make any other posts this year, it just feels wrong to skip this one. I use these posts to look back on the previous year. To rediscover some old favourites of the year and find some songs I might have missed.

Last year was rather uncertain for me. Many groups disbanded including some of my favourites. I was searching for new ones to enjoy and it seems this year I have found them. Going to Korea and actually meeting some of the groups have really put things into perspective for me. Seeing them perform live makes you appreciate them so much more.

Like the previous years I will include only one song for each artist/group.

  • 30. Pristin V – Get it
  • 29. Bss (Seventeen) – Just do it
  • 28. Chungha – Roller coaster
  • 27. GOT7 – Look
  • 26. (G)I-dle – Latata
  • 25. UNI.T – No more
  • 24. Wanna One – Boomerang
  • 23. Gfriend – Time for the moon night
  • 22. Stray Kids – District 9
  • 21. Girls Generation-Oh!GG – Little touch
  • 20. UNB – Black heart
  • 19. Nu’est W – Dejavu
  • 18. Suzy – Sober
  • 17. BTS – Fake love
  • 16. Super Junior – Super duper
  • 15. Twice – Yes or yes
  • 14. IZ*ONE – La vie en rose
  • 13. Day6 – Shoot me
  • 12. Amber x Luna – Lower
  • 11. CLC – Black dress

10. WJSN – Save me, save you

Honestly, maybe this song needs to be lower on this list. I don’t listen to it very often, but when I do it brings back a certain memory. The memory of sitting in the studio of SBS the Show, looking down on the stage and seeing WJSN get their first ever win on a music show. They were up against what is now my favourite group, so I was kind of sad they didn’t win, but I was also very happy for WJSN at the same time. They really deserved it after working hard for such a long time. It can’t be easy being the girl group in Kpop with the most members.

9. Fromis_9 – Love bomb

If I did not make this list, I would have totally missed this song. I watch a lot of music videos and I’m subscribed to a lot of channels on Youtube. But due to the amount of songs that come out each day, sometimes good ones slip through. That was what happened to this one. I had watched the beginning of the show were Fromis_9 came from, but like most survival shows I didn’t finish watching it. Produce 48 and the Unit I also started and didn’t finish watching. But that does not mean I cannot like the eventual group that come out of these shows.

When I listened to the song for the first time, I found it a bit much. While I normally like the “wall of sound” type of songs, this one didn’t do it for me, but then I listened to it again a couple of times. Surprisingly I kept coming back to it and before I knew it, I just kept playing it on loop. This song is just incredibly addictive.

8. Red Velvet – Power up

I liked Red Velvet ever since they debuted, listened to every single one of their songs, bought their albums and even have a poster of them hanging on my wall, but I never counted them as one of my favourite groups. I have no idea why this is, so now I’m just going to admit to myself: Red Velvet is one of my favourite groups. There, that is out. 

Most of Red Velvet songs take a while for me to like. I know this by now, so I always listen to them a couple of times. “Bad boy” was pretty good and “I just” was surprisingly good for a slow song. “Power up” was pretty good from the start, although not amazing. Visiting Korea and having this song forced upon me all day long changed that. You would think that hearing this song come from every single store would have made anyone go crazy and dislike it. Seems like they hid some hypnotising sounds in it because I just keep listening to it. Must be the Ba-banana ba-ba-banana-nana.

7. Sunmi – Heroine

I never liked the Wonder Girls’ songs, but Sunmi’s solo songs are just like honey to my ears. Last year “Gashina” was my favourite song of the year. At least from the ones I knew about back then, more on that later. This year with “Heroine” and “Siren” she brought out some great songs as well. Are they as good as “Gashina”? No, not in my opinion, but they are good in their own way. Together with IU I think Sunmi has grown to be Korea’s best female solo artist. Within Kpop, at least, I don’t really know a lot of Korean solo artists outside of that. Anyone have any recommendations?

6. Mamamoo – Starry night

Speaking of great female artists. When it comes to vocals no one can beat Mamamoo. No group have a music style as diverse as them while still sounding as coming from the same group. Have you seen any group pull off a rap song and a power vocal ballad? I don’t think so. And then there is “Egotistic”, a Latin-based song. It seems like they can. just put out a song in any genre, but still make it sound like a Mamamoo song. Add to that aesthetically pleasing music videos like “Starry night” and I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t like them.

5. Loona – Hi high

October 2016 Blockberry Creative came out with the first member of Loona. In the ranking of that year I said I greatly looked forward to the rest of the members being revealed. Looking at my ranking of 2017 you will notice that no Loona songs are there. Why? Because my dumb ass forgot about them. I watched some of the first songs and lost interest. This year I looked into their songs again and wanted to slap myself for missing all that greatness. Because to be honest if I knew about it then Yves’ “New” would have been number one that year.

When I went to SBS the Show I had no idea who I would see perform. Right before I found out I would be seeing Loona and they promoted “Hi High”. There is just something about seeing a song perform live that makes it much better. Too bad they didn’t perform “Favorite” though. That would have been epic.

4. Blackpink – Ddu-du ddu-du

Hit me with that ddu-du ddu-du du. What can I say about this song? The almost 600 million views don’t lie. It’s a song that gets stuck in your head. It’ s competing to be the most watched Kpop music video not counting Psy’s videos. Yes people they are competing with BTS. Are they more popular? I wouldn’t go as far as to say that. Are they the most popular girl group? Just look at the views, that is all I will say. That might change a bit with Jennie not being as “Solo” as she stated. Her relationship with Kai is proof that Blackpink is in fact popular as any other group/artist would get in trouble for dating. *cough* Hyuna/E’Dawn *cough*

3. Momoland – Bboom bboom

On Januari 3rd 2018 Bboom bboom came out. I saw it the day it was released and immediately knew that the not so popular group had a hit on their hands. It’s catchy, fun and can be danced to by almost anyone. What I didn’t know however was that it would grow to be such a hit as it did. Looking at the top watched video of all time for girl groups we have Blackpink, Twice and then Momoland. If you had said that couple years ago, you would be laughed at. I said it last year and will say it again: A new era of Kpop has started. One not just dominated by the big 3. Groups from smaller companies now have a chance to be successful. With “Baam” they also had another hit on their hands, even though it was very similar to their previous song. Let’s hope they can bring out something new this year.

2. Oh My Girl – Remember me

Ever since their debut Oh My Girl has always had at least one of their songs in my top 10 for the year, except for last year. And let’s be honest I kind of screwed up that year with putting Weki Meki in my top 10 and missing all of the Loona songs. This year they are firmly on the number 2 position. I still listen to “Remember me” and “Secret garden” almost daily on my way to work.

When I went to Korea, I just missed their performance and win on SBS the Show by a week. I did see them for a moment 2 weeks later and didn’t realise it at first. That was because I was too surprised, because I almost literally ran into my favourite group, which are of course on number one.

1. Dreamcatcher – What

Did I plan my visit to Korea together with Dreamcatcher’s promotions? No. But I was happy they did promote during the time I was in Korea. “What” came out 2 days before I went. I had booked tickets for SBS the Show months in advance and was way too excited and nervous knowing I might be able to see them perform. Not only did I see them perform, but they also did a fan promotion just outside the studio that day. I didn’t know about this so couldn’t participate, but at the end I did have some interaction with Yoohyeon. Believe me it sounds cooler than it actually was, just a smile and some eye contact. It was nice to see them again, especially after seeing their performance and participating in the fansign here in the Netherlands.

The reason I like them so much is because their songs are a combination of my old passion for metal music and my current music taste. “What”, “You and I” and “Full moon” could have all taken the number one spot this year, but seeing “What” performed live just pushes it ahead of the rest.

 

This year I firmly have a grasp again who favourite groups are. Going into my 9th year of listening to Kpop I notice that my music taste has changed quite a bit, but this is the nature of being a long-time listener of Kpop. With the disbandment of many of the older groups we have to move onto newer ones. I just hope that my current favourites last for a long time. Are there any songs missing on this list? Let me know down below.

 

Curious what songs might end up on my list next year? Check out the playlist down below. I update it throughout the year with all my favourite songs.

 

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