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This is part two of going through songs that are in the the following publication’s “best Kpop songs of 2021” lists:
As you saw in part one, I’m going to listen to the songs and give my thoughts. I’ve put them into three categories. This post is going through songs that showed up two or three times.
They are in release date order and all song title’s are linked to the YouTube MV~
IN TWO ARTICLES
Epik High ft. CL and ZICO – Rosario
This is one I clearly remember coming out because I was so happy to see CL ♥
I do enjoy Epik High and each member brings out their confidence and talent for Rosario. It’s a song where each artist flexes and has every right to. CL brings a softness to the song, but is still powerful and exudes confidence. All the rappers don’t hold back, especially Zico. The song is great and definitely deserves to be on a best song’s list. The mv is also perfect and yes it’s mostly because of the parallels to Born Hater and Tukutz – where’s his Oscar? 😂
album: Epik High Is Here 上, Part 1 (18.01.21) || publications: nme + The Ringer
Rosé – On the Ground
I really want to like this song. I think Rose has such a good voice, but it was just kind of… boring? I definitely preferred the moment where it was just Rose’s voice. I know I shouldn’t compare, but no other Blackpink solo has come close to Jennie’s.
album: R (12.03.21) || publications: Billboard + nme
IU – LILAC (라일락)
Lilac is a fun song, with a nostalgic feel to it. It feels classy, while still having an upbeat pop element. When you listen to IU it’s so easy to be filled with the emotion the song has and this is no different. IU truly is in her own league ♥
album: LILAC (25.03.21) || publications: Billboard + nme
ENHYPEN – FEVER
nme called Fever a “sensual, slow-burning R&B jam” and I don’t think there’s a better description. This song, especially the chorus is so compelling and it does feel like you’re being lured in by the rhythm and vocal’s. The harmonies in Fever are also very pretty. For a relatively new rookie group, they are coming out with incredible music again and again.
album: BORDER: CARNIVAL (26.04.21) || publications: Time + nme
aespa – Next Level
This is the first of 2 aespa songs on this list.
aespa are such a cool group. They’re super confident and Next Level goes through several different styles, but remains powerful and dynamic. The only problem with this though is that the song does feel rather long, despite being a relatively normal length.
album: Next Level Remixes (17.05.21) || publications: Billboard + nme
BTS – Butter
I don’t really like Butter… I like the chorus… mostly because I think I’ve been indoctrinated by the Google adverts 😅 The harmonies are nice, and I do like Namjoon’s raps. But, it’s not something I would choose to listen to.
album: Butter (21.05.21) || publications: Billboard + nme
Taeyeon – Weekend
I love Taeyeon, but I will admit, this isn’t a favourite of mine. I understand that the dreamy, retro feel of the song is sweet, but I wish it had a bit more punch. Weirdly enough, I think this song would work really well as a GG song. What do you think?
album: Weekend (06.07.21) || publications: Billboard + nme
KEY – BAD LOVE
Finding SHINee is truly the best thing that ever happened to me. They are superior in every way. The fact they aren’t on these list’s as a group is rude, but I’ll take what I can get.
Key really pulled out all the stops with Bad Love. The song is incredibly cool and his voice is powerful and beautiful. It is truly hard to find fault with this song as you can tell that Key put so much of himself into it.
Side note: I would have loved to see Hate That… ft. Taeyeon on some list’s too as it’s incredible ♥
album: BAD LOVE (27.09.21) || publications: nme + The Ringer
aespa – Savage
For the second aespa song, I’m starting to realise why they don’t have a full album yet. Their songs are so complex! There is so much going on to build this confident and cool package. They are all incredibly talented and I think aespa definitely deserve being on these list’s multiple times because they are giving it all and this kind of talent deserves all the praise!
However, I will say, this one could be a little shorter as the end does drag out a bit.
album: Savage (05.10.21) || publications: Time + nme
ONEUS – 월하미인 (月下美人: LUNA)
Luna is pretty intense, but the beautiful vocal’s and the mix of traditional Korean instruments and modern trap gives it some softness in places. The raps are also very strong and everything just feels well placed and well executed. A lot of thought has gone into this song and it shows. I also really love the way a gayageum sounds.
album: Blood Moon (09.11.21) || publications: Billboard + nme
IN THREE ARTICLES
CIX – Cinema
I remember hearing this when it came out and my feelings are still pretty much the same. I think the song has a feel good and easy listening quality. However, I don’t think the vocals are fully utilised and for that I don’t find it all that memorable. I can see why a lot of people would enjoy it as it is a step away from what the majority of boy groups have been doing at the moment as it has a softer, carefree feeling.
album: ‘HELLO’ Chapter Ø. Hello, Strange Dream (02.02.21) || publications: Time + Billboard + The Ringer
WEEEKLY – After School
Weeekly are another rookie group that have quickly established themselves. They are talented and utilise the cute foundation of the girl group genre and have built upon it with more hip hip elements. After School is cute and catchy, and due to it’s production and vocals is very memorable. I look forward to seeing this group continue to grow.
album: We Play (17.03.21) || publications: Time + Billboard + The Ringer
STAYC – ASAP
I only like this song, which is a shame because I went in thinking I would love it. ASAP is pretty cute, with a little cool edge. And Billboard says that this song has “flute-like synths that are as quirky as they are charming”... I just found them a bit annoying… I feel like this is the weakest STAYC song that I’ve heard so far. But again, this might be a song that needs to be listened to several times to get used to such a unique sound.
album: STAYDOM (08.04.21) || publications: Time + Billboard + nme
TOMORROW X TOGETHER ft. Seori – 0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)
This song has a great pop punk sound, which has a beautiful feeling of expression, which I think resonates with a lot of people at the moment. TXT are very talented and I think this song really does set them apart from a lot of Kpop released this year. The harmonies are great and their voices worked perfectly with Seori’s. I can see why this song made 3 different list’s.
album: The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE (31.05.21) || publications: Billboard + nme + The Ringer
Taemin – Advice
And we end the year with Taemin (#IMissTaemin ㅠㅠ). I’m not going to lie, Advice isn’t my favourite (honestly, I’m still not over Criminal), but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great song. It is enchanting and chaotic, and was dropped right before his enlistment – a power move. SHINee are the princes of Kpop for a reason and it’s because they are incredibly talented and are forever evolving – they set trends, inspire their juniors and their work has a lasting impression on the public. Taemin has grown into an incredible all round performer and I look forward to his return.
And while I’m here, check out Minho’s new song Heartbreak because SHINee’s no. 1 fan get’s overlooked too much!
album: ADVICE (18.05.21) || publications: Time + nme + The Ringer
Are any of your favourite songs on this list? Are there any you think should be here?
Thanks for reading!
I hope that you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥