Well, I could have easily done a Top 50 Kpop Songs of 2019, but elected to stick to half that for the purposes of this blog post. And so, here you go – My Top 25 Kpop Songs of 2019…
25 – Violeta by Iz*One
Feel bad for this relatively young group which debuted in 2018 only to be caught up in the recent Produce scandal and placed on indefinite hiatus.
24 – I’m So Hot – Momoland
Their 2018 release, Baam, remains one of my Top 10 all-time favorite kbops. Members Taeha and Yeonwoo “left” the group this past November and it will be interesting to see how that will affect the group dynamics.
23 – Party Is Over by Giriboy
Fairly accomplished at age 28, Giriboy – who debuted back in 2011 – already has a pretty solid discography under his belt.
22 – Kill This Love by Blackpink
My wife Akemi’s favorite group (alongside the group sitting at #1 on this list), Blackpink are one of only a handful of Korean groups that have broken into the international market – and Blackpink has done it in a big way, their appearance at this years Coachella engendering a social media response that dwarfed that of any other performer.
21 – Bon Bon Chocolat by Everglow
Everglow debuted in a big way this year, and landed two songs on this list. Despite the chocolate theme, I wasn’t totally onboard with this song the first time I heard it, but it’s really grown on me. And the accompanying dance is one of the more entertaining offerings of the 2019 kpop scene.
20 – Side Effects by Stray Kids
Stray Kids delivered some solid hits in 2019, and multiple songs landed on this list, starting with this one.
19 – TMI by Hot Place
Formerly Badkidz, this group changed their name to Hot Place following the departure of 15 (!) of their group members, relaunching with this song in February of this year. Love the song and the video is fun – if you’re okay with those videos that interrupt the music for onscreen action.
18 – Devil by CLC
CLC had three 2019 releases in my Top 50, but only one in my Top 25 – this one, their fourth digital single.
17 – Super Clap by Super Junior
Their 2008 release, Sorry Sorry, is one my all-time favorites (as is that insidious ear worm, Can You Feel It?), but they scored big time in 2019 with this terrific track off their ninth album.
16 – Double Knot by Stray Kids
And Stray Kids land a second song on this list with this 2019 single. But, wait! There’s more!
15 – Congratulations by Eric Nam
Former Atlanta, Georgia native and current South Korean music star Eric Nam’s collaboration with former 2AM Club vocalist Marc E. Bassy takes the #15 spot on this list.
14 – Gogobebe by Mamamoo
My favorite Korean group lands at #14 with this release. The accompanying video is typical of Mamamoo – fun, humor, lively choreography, and visuals that feature each of their distinct personalities.
13 – Astronaut by Stray Kids
Following the departure of Woojin, Stray Kids delayed the release of their album, Cle: Leavanter, eventually releasing the video for Astronaut, their first video without their longtime fellow group member.
12 – Picky Picky by Weki Meki
This one lands firmly in Akemi’s Top 5. Another song that really grew on me the more I heard it.
11 – Snappy by Chung Ha
She’s been dubbed as The Korean Beyonce which, I’m sure, is intended as a compliment but really is just a lazy shorthand to describe one of South Korea’s most successful musical artists. Delightfully distinct in her own right, she scored a huge hit with this song in 2019.
10 – Want It by Itzy
Arguably one of the biggest 2019 debuts in kpop was this group with their two solid hits, Icy and Dalla Dalla. And while Icy and Dalla Dalla were in my Top 50, two other songs this group released were the ones to make my Top 25.
9 – Lit by Oneus
Mamamoo RBW label mates Oneus debuted with two terrific singles. Lit was one.
8 – Valkyrie by Oneus
Any this song, Valkyrie, was the other. I went back and forth on which one should take precedence on this list, and ultimately decided to go with Valkyrie. But it was damn close.
7 – Psycho by Red Velvet
A late arrival in 2019, this is the lead single off Red Velvet’s new album, The ReVe Festival Finale. It’s a particularly sad song to listen to in the wake of group member Wendy’s recent accident, the result of alleged negligence on the part of SBS.
6 – Ninety Nine by AOA
The official goodwill ambassadors to the 2018 Winter Olympics, AOA, released this single in late November and it quickly vaulted into my Top 10.
5 – It’z Summer
This B-side release didn’t even get an official video, but it was my favorite song from this debut group.
4 – Miroh by Stray Kids
Stray Kids lands no less than four songs on this Top 25 list. All great, but this one’s my favorite.
3 – Gottasadae by BeWhy
South Korea’s pre-eminent rapper, BeWhy, lands a solid #3 with a great song and equally great official video.
2 – Adios by Everglow
One of the first kpop songs I fell in love with, it’s a killer bop and the choreography in the official video is nothing short of outstanding.
1 – Hip by Mamamoo
To be honest, this one wasn’t even close. Fantastic song by a fantastic group with a fantastic video featuring fantastic choreography.