So as 2018 has come to an end its time for my annual round-up of the songs that have been an absolute highlight and have been on repeat for the majority of 2018. Although, I slightly fell out of the loop with the latest tracks from soloists and groups but with links been thrown at me by my friends it’s safe to say I managed to catch up. So without further ado here’s what made my 2018 Top Songs list!
JENNIE – SOLO
I honestly had no idea that Jennie was planning on releasing a solo track this year and pretty much found out through my YouTube feed. I quite liked the song and the way it strikes a balance between the two languages English and Korean. Although, I slightly disagree with YG for deciding to debut Jennie as a solo artist when she has barely had any songs released with Blackpink. It didn’t necessarily make sense to me, but nevertheless, I loved the song.
NCT – BABY DON’T STOP
I still remember watching this in utter shock in back in March. Ten and Taeyong came together in the creation of one deadly song with the sexiest choreography. NCT has probably been my stand out group of 2018 if I’m honest based on how much they have released and grown not to mention that they are also sparking interest in the states now too. I found myself liking every song they released this year in there subunits, and I’m pretty excited to see what they have in store for 2019.
BTS – FAKE LOVE/IDOL/DDAENG
Once again BTS have gone above and bloody beyond with the music they have released this year. I’m convinced sometimes they aren’t even human! Fake Love released back in May, and we saw the group have the opportunity to premiere the track live on the AMA’s (which of course I stayed up to watch). Followed by Ddaeng by the rap line which dropped for BTS Festa in June and left me with raised eyebrows when I read the lyrics translations. Finally, we then had Idol which released towards the end of the summer, and by that time I was used to opening twitter to a meltdown over what BTS had dropped, I may as well just gave up trying to keep up with them. But it never ceases to amaze me how versatile BTS are with there music, how every song has a different story and completely different sound.
G-IDLE – HANN
G-IDLE is a new girl group that debuted this year under Cube Entertainment. Their debut track was known as Latata which became catchy rather quickly. They were a girl group that caught my eye as their track happened to drop just at the right time when I had just finished for the summer and was ready for some summer tunes to hit me. Although I loved Latata, I think Hann was on a different level not just with sound but with the music video too. I’m guessing it had a slight middle eastern inspiration to it which worked pretty well. I’ll be keeping an eye on this group to see where they head in 2019.
EXO – LOVE SHOT
This is quite new considering I only watched the MV and listened to the song last week at 12am when I spontaneously decided to do a face mask. EXO’s comeback is one I have been waiting and waiting for because they were absent from the music scene for quite some time. After Tempo dropped, I was more than happy to hear they planned to drop another song. BUT was I expecting something quite sensual and cheeky? Not at all. Loved the song of course just physically attacked by the MV. Honestly just picture how ridiculous I must have looked watching this with a face mask glued to my face.
IKON – LOVE SCENARIO
IKON’s music this year has been absolutely stellar! What better way was there to kick start 2018 in January with a long-awaited comeback. IKON’s Love Scenario was a huge and I mean massive success in the K-POP music industry. It reached number 1 on various music streaming sites, achieved 204 hourly Perfect All Kills making them the only group to do this so far and finally remained number one on the Gaon music chart for six weeks! If I’m honest, I’m still shocked that the song didn’t even get an award or any kind of special recognition it had achieved because it was clearly loved by many.
MAMAMOO – STARRY NIGHT
It is no secret that Mamamoo is my top girl group and I couldn’t have asked for an even better song from them. Starry Night was on repeat throughout the summer months. Why? Because it went so perfectly. From staring outside the window and looking at the stars as a warm breeze came by, to late night drives. It was the song of the summer for me and was closely followed by another track egotistic which again was amazing. Super excited to see what more Mamamoo has to give in 2019!
STRAY KIDS – MY PACE
Now I had heard of Stray Kids from so many people in my K-POP Society at university. But I never got around to listening to there music. Why? I think it’s because I couldn’t wrap my head around how young they all were. But when I checked out My Pace, I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t the usual genre of music I go for, but I grew to like it. I still need to work on learning the member’s names though, so far I only know Felix.
BLACKPINK – DDU-DU-DDU-DU
I think everyone let out that small FINALLY when YG revealed that Blackpink would be making a comeback. I mean the poor girls have been performing the same three ish songs for two years I think. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually like the song at first though. I found the beat far too harsh and electronic for my liking but with every listen I had to it again the song just grew on me. As for the other tracks on their album well they weren’t particularly memorable but not too shabby either. Blackpink just needs to have a lot more of a presence in 2019 to keep there popularity and momentum going.
SEUNGRI – 1 2 3
Big Bang has been away from the music scene for quite some time now, and it’s needless to say that I am missing them. But it was a pleasant surprise to see that Seungri dropped not one but two songs! 1,2,3 felt like a big musical production number, and I got major Grease vibes from the music video. It’s a fun song with that 70’s pop music genre laced through it.
SUPER JUNIOR – LO SIENTO FEAT LESILE GRACE
This has to be another one of my favourite songs of the year. In 2017 I was just beginning to fall into Super Junior, and this song firmly stole my heart and helped me find a bias I think. Plus it amazed me with its ability to weaved three languages into one song including Spanish, Korean and English. Although it follows that very cliche tropical house beat, it definitely gets stuck to your head like glue but in a good way of course.
PRISTIN V – GET IT
Girl groups really caught my eye in 2018 because Pristin V was just another group that dropped a song that was my go to on my Spottily Playlist! Pristin V, of course, is the subunit of Pristin who’s songs I haven’t really liked. But when Get It released I was quite excited because I actually liked the song. I think Pristin V is relatively a strong subunit as well mainly because of the unique set of vocals they have which resulted in a song that I thought had a lot of vocal texture.
J-HOPE – DAYDREAM
J-Hope’s first mixtape has to make the list because it was just amazing! It literally represents him as an artist and as a person. Every song on the mixtape reveals something different about him and has its own little story embedded. I loved how colourful Daydream was and how it screamed his personality immediately. But my personal favourites on the mixtape is probably Hangsang and Airplane because of those subtle little hints of the rest of the BTS members.
RM – SEOUL
It’s been years since RM dropped his first mixtape yet I think I was the last one to find out that he dropped a second. I honestly thought it came out from nowhere, but perhaps it was because I was so out of the loop. The mixtape is entirely different from his first, and it displays just how much he has grown and changed as an artist. Personally, I find the mixtape comforting to listen to because of the soft sound some of the songs has and the embedded messages hidden between his lyrics. I could not have been more impressed with the flexibility of his musical tastes and words.
SPECIAL SHOUT OUTS AND MENTIONS TO
NCT 127 – Regular
NCT U – Boss
NCT DREAM – Go
Red Velvet – Power Up
Jessi – Down
Shaun – Way Back Home
Eric Nam – Potion
Day 6 – Shoot Me
Triple H – Retro Future
IKON – Killing Me
MONSTA X – Jealousy
2018 was great year for K-POP music but industry wise there were a lot of rumours, company disputes and disbandment. I mean we literally ended 2018 and began 2019 finding out that EXO’s Kai is dating Blackpink Jennie and that buzz will surely take a while to die down. Who knows what 2019 will bring for the KPOP world next?