The year 2020 has witnessed a lot more than anyone would have ever imagined even not in our worst nightmares! But the year has also taught us lot perseverance and hope stood out. Is your K-pop playlist getting stale? Need to stay up-to-date on the latest K-pop hits?
Check out this list of the best 2021 K-pop songs, ranked by fans everywhere.
- LIKE WATER-
Red Velvet’s Wendy’s impressive solo debut is making a splash around the globe! It flows beautifully, taking up the shape that Wendy's voice lends it. There is an operatic feel that continuously reached a crescendo with every song and is ultimately resolved with the utmost grace and harmony. The album feels very rightfully like a drama OST and it is this quality that stands testimony to the album's innate storytelling ability. Wendy starts off strong with 'When This Rain Stops' where she puts her vocal power into full display, backed with the slightest yet steady piano melody.
The lyrics seem heavily influenced by her own personal experience in the past year when she struggled with recovery in an atmosphere of uncertainty. 'Like Water'; has a strange familiarity in its tune which sounds like something we've all heard before but as soon as you try to put your finger on it, it disappears into ether. Wendy sings with deliberate ease in this song, putting little to no strain on her voice even when she's taking on high notes. Overall, while this album might not be anything revolutionary, it is an absolute gift to the music industry at large and that is exactly why this release is so significant.
BTS recently reached a new high with their first English single Dynamite, becoming the first Korean artist ever to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100! In the seven years since their debut, ‘Dynamite’ is the group’s first entirely English language single. Their previous music, commonplace in K-pop, has been a mix of Korean and English.
‘Dynamite’ has a retro vibe, reminiscent in everything from its peppy tunes to the music video’s set design saturated with ice cream and candy colors. "Dynamite is a song that can lift anyone's spirits." (SAID BY JIMIN) as everyone in the world is going through tough times.
- ALL YOURS-
On 5th April, Astro made their comeback with their new album ‘All Yours’ and its powerful title track: ‘One.’
It sounds amazing. This time, they did not hold back on the dark and sexy concept. You can see so as the song is on a whole other level. Sonically, the music mixes influence from the years 2000 and EDM, something that we had heard from Astro before. t has a very catchy hook, and the song builds up into a pop chorus that has almost an anthem feel to it.
But as great as ‘One’ is, let’s not forget this comeback included a full album.
- All Yoursopens up with ‘Dear My Universe,’ a soft, sincere, and uplifting pop track that is most likely to be dedicated to AROHAS, their fans.
- It then goes on to one of the best songs in the album, ‘Butterfly Effect.’ The second track is a more EDM-influenced track with a very hopeful vibe transmitted by its instrumental, voices, and lyrics. This song is all about reaching for their dreams no matter what, and the music gives out that energy of hope and emotion even without reading the lyrics.
- After these more sincere tracks and the darker ‘One’, the album goes into more fun songs such as ‘Someone Else’ and ‘SNS.’ The latter is a fun laid back, kind of chill and vibey, a love song that uses play on words to include social media – as its title indicates.
- ‘All Good’ is the perfect song to lift your mood. It’s a feel-good love song about someone completing you. The production in this one is truly out of this world with the mixture of synths, that addictive whistling line, the influence of retro and modern pop, and an underlined bass line.
- We have ‘All Stars’ – a song that references one of their singles from the past year, ‘One&Only,’ in its lyrics. Moving past the happier and feel-good songs: an album wouldn’t be complete with sad songs and ballads.
- ‘Our Spring’ is the only sad song in the proper sense of the term and lyrically one of the most immeasurable songs in the album for sure. It’s a soft pop tune that compares a relationship to the seasons, and while the seasons come back and the flowers blossom again, the relationship doesn’t. the great highlight of this song is the build-up before the chorus, which are spectacular raps by Jinjin and Rocky. By rapping in the pre-chorus, they create something special and unique that truly makes the song the heartbreak and full emotional ride.
- ‘Stardust’ uses the metaphor of someone being your star and guiding you. It’s a love song about being grateful for someone. The song starts with soft raps, making it so unique and different from other songs.
- And the last track, ‘Gemini, is a heartfelt and sincere love song that seems to come full circle with the opening track, ‘Dear My Universe.’ However, ‘Gemini’ feels way more vulnerable than any song in the album.
By Sharon Lewis