The end of the year countdowns are finally here! As always, we’ll kick off with the big one: The Bias List’s top 50 songs of the year! Each day this week, I’ll be counting down ten of the year’s best, until number one is revealed on Friday.
To be eligible for this top 50 list, songs must have had a Korean release as a title track, follow-up or promotional video between Dec. 1st, 2022 and Nov. 30th, 2023.
Curious about past countdowns? Check out the masterpost here!
40. VERIVERY – Crazy Like That
In a year where most everyone’s sound went subdued, VERIVERY tried their hand at a gentler version of their old-school R&B. Crazy Like That proved to be a massive grower, kicking around my playlist for months after release. (full review)
39. The New Six (TNX) – Kick It 4 Now
Rebranding as The New Six, these rookies released a bright, New Jack Swing influenced summer track with one of the catchiest hooks of the year. This should be their sound going forward. (full review)
38. n.SSign – Higher
In general, K-pop has been light on sprawling vocal showcases this year. Leave it to a rookie pre-release track to deliver the goods. Higher is entrancing for many reasons, but the members’ crystal clear voices are its greatest weapon. (full review)
37. Kwon Eunbi – The Flash
Kwon Eunbi expanded her reign as K-pop’s dancefloor queen with this engaging highlight. The dramatic pre-chorus is among the best things she’s ever recorded. (full review)
36. STAYC – Bubble
STAYC fully embraced their fluffy pop era with this synth-fueled confection. In a year where this effusive energy seemed to fall out of fashion, Bubble was a welcome, late-summer joy bomb. (full review)
35. CRAVITY – Groovy
CRAVITY couldn’t quite match the consistency of their 2022 output, but early in the year they unveiled one last burst of buoyant disco pop. Groovy is pure fun, unbothered by the edgier side of K-pop’s boy group oeuvre. (full review)
34. Jungkook – Seven (ft. Latto)
Jungkook’s Seven was always going to be a massive hit, but its high quality was a welcome surprise. What could have come across as an annoying jingle ended up as one of the summer’s biggest earworms thanks to its early-00’s garage sound and effortlessly cool delivery. (full review)
33. Just B – Medusa
The little group that could returned with a guitar-led burst of pop energy. Tying a catchy chorus to anthemic production, the guys proved their worth as rookies to watch. (full review)
32. NCT Dream – ISTJ
NCT Dream borrowed liberally from classic SMent touches to elevate ISTJ beyond similar-sounding tracks. Its dramatic arrangement lends the song a bombast that retains just enough funk to remind you of the group’s early days. (full review)
31. ONF – Love Effect
ONF returned as a full group late this year, delivering a sonic victory lap that fused their ear for melody to a bright, lively arrangement stuffed with optimistic drive. (full review)