We’re already halfway into 2018! Time surely flies really fast.
Have you been enjoying the K-pop releases so far? I am for sure, as I can witness a stable transition from last year’s trendy sounds to new experimental music, and, of course, I’m enjoying every single bit of that movement. So how about we check out my personal lists for the first half of the year? ^__~
I’ll be doing two lists, one for title tracks, and one for B-sides, because we all know that in majority of situations B-sides become the main gems of album releases. Let’s go?
Top 10 B-side songs of 1st half of 2018
10. Cross Gene – Dystopia
Each time I write about Cross Gene, the word “underrated” just can’t help but accompany this group almost 7 years into debut. Although I wasn’t really impressed with their 2018 comeback, I still stand by position that their discography is one of the biggest hidden gems in K-pop, and people need to discover them quickly before their time runs out. Dystopia is an example of what happens when you incorporate epic music elements into K-pop. Hearing that at big stadiums would be pure eargasm, let’s be honest.
Find my review for the song here: [아주 작은 Review] GFriend / HALO / (G)I-DLE / Cross Gene
9. Super Junior – Me & U
Latin pop elements are slowly invading K-pop music industry, and Super Junior grabs their chance to explore it at full score, presenting not only an iconic trilingual title track Lo Siento, but also this lovely masterpiece that is Me & U. It’s playful and funky, and you just can’t help but dance to the song. The “Why don’t you lo-lo-lo-lo-lo-love me” is damn addictive.
8. Wanna One (Triple Position) – Kangaroo (prod. by ZICO)
It was the best idea to make Wanna One’s B-sides produced by various famous artists, because from what I’ve seen lately, their last comeback with I.P.U. was… a disaster in terms of musicality. Too bad Swing/YMC stopped caring about music quality after such masterpieces as Energetic and Beautiful. ZICO makes a very upbeat and cheerful song for the hyper active Wanna One members: Daniel, Jaehwan and Woojin, and I personally prefer this over Sandglass by fellow members Daehwi and Seongwu. It also allows you to explore a new, playful charm from main vocalist Kim Jaehwan, which, in my opinion, is the biggest highlight of this song.
7. OH MY GIRL – Love O’Clock
Truly the brightest hidden gem in OMG’s discography. It just lures you into their trap with no chances of escape. The rhythm keeps changing throughout the song, thus it doesn’t sound boring. It combines both cute and chic sides of the ladies, and that makes the song outstanding in the whole Secret Garden mini album.
6. Eric Nam – Lose You
Eric Nam truly shines this year with a self-composed album Honestly, and Lose You is that kind of song we need to be present in K-pop market (let’s ignore the fact that the song is fully in English). If I never knew about K-pop, I’d never thought this song could come out from a K-pop artist. It may sound typical for Western market, but for K-pop, it’s a new and very attractive sound.
5. CLC – Distance
I honestly enjoyed this track much more than their title song Black Dress. This song is a perfect throwback to what K-pop used to be in late 2000s – early 2010s years. I personally consider this as CLC’s best song so far in their discography. It somewhat reminds of what T-ara did in their highlight years (Cry Cry, Day By Day).
4. Dreamcatcher – Mayday
Dreamcatcher delivered another quality mini album this year, and for me, B-sides stood out much more than the title track You and I, specifically this song. I think that Mayday above every other song of theirs can serve as a legit anime opening song. I also really enjoy the vocals in this song, and the instrumentals here are crispy good. Everything is very balanced and sounds more of a heavy metal song that other tracks they have in their discography. At this point, it may even surpass Wake Up in my list of favorite DC songs.
3. Chungha – Bad Boy
Oh, Chungha, Chungha… You didn’t really need to wreck me like that with a retro swing B-side track. I was already in absolute awe with the title song Roller Coaster, so I totally wasn’t prepared for THIS. The piano makes my heart beat at the same speed. Gosh, Chungha, this is your true power here.
2. NU’EST W – Polaris
Hi, Baekho, allow me to say biggest thanks to you for composing such a beautiful track. I’m sure soon the general public will pick it up and make it top every single damn chart, because Polaris deserved that. It gives you Heize vibes, and the lyrics are absolutely astonishing, how do you even write a song like that???
1. LOOΠΔ yyxy – frozen
Another example of the case when a B-side track shines much more than the title song. Of course, eventually love4eva grew up on me after several listens, but frozen is the real shining diamond in this sub-unit’s mini album. Everything about this song is just beyond amazing. This definitely tops my list of most favorite LOOΠΔ sub-unit songs.
Top 10 title tracks of 1st half of 2018
10. Jang MoonVok – Red
MoonVok deserves much more love with this mini album, it’s a piece of ART. Stop sleeping on him, guys. Read my review here: [REVIEW] Jang Moonbok (VOK) – RED
9. MAMAMOO – Starry Night
While I’m waiting for the next part of their 2018 season project, let’s continue jamming to this truly a summer jam. Read my review here: [REVIEW] MAMAMOO – Starry Night
8. Minseo – Is Who
Minseo just freaking snatched my wig by doing a retro swing song. Nuff said. Read my review here: [아주 작은 REVIEW] Taeyeon / Kim Donghan / Minseo / MOMOLAND
7. AOA – Bingle Bangle
Hi to another summer jam! This was one of the most anxious comebacks for me considering the departure of ChoA, and recent downhill in their song quality. Read my review here: [아주 작은 Review] BOL4 / The East Light / Pristin V / AOA
6. Sunmi – Heroine
Sunmi simply SLAYS. Read my review here: [아주 작은 Review] Sunmi / VROMANCE / Rainz / Holland
5. BoA – One Shot Two Shot
I wasn’t much amused at this song until I watched the live performance and specifically the choreography. Now it’s one of my jams from this album alongside with CAMO. Read my review here: 아주 작은 Review: BoA / CLC / VROMANCE / SF9
4. OH MY GIRL – Secret Garden
Truly a magical song. Come here for an upgraded version of Closer. Read my review here: [REVIEW] OH MY GIRL – Secret Garden
3. HA:TFELT – Pluhmm
HA:TFELT simply becomes my new favorite indie solo artist. She just keeps surprising me with bops. Read my review here: [아주 작은 Review] VIXX / HA:TFELT / DJ Hyo / A’Pink
2. NU’EST W – Dejavu
Hi, it’s Rina who still can’t get over that damn seductive bass in the chorus. And the beginning muted “turutu”. And the super sexy “Say woo woo woo”. And those GOD visuals. Read my review here: [Review] NU’EST W – Dejavu (2nd mini album “WHO•YOU”)
1. SHINee – Good Evening
This song is simply EVERYTHING. SHINee always delivers high quality music. I’m way too addicted to the whole sound of the song. Read my review here: [Review] SHINee – Good Evening (SHINee is Back!)
What are your favorite songs of first half of this year?