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!
20. Soyou – Aloha (ft. Bora)
My dream of a full summertime Sistar reunion remains unfulfilled, but songs like Aloha get us halfway there. Like a cool drink on a hot summer’s day, this is so pleasant and refreshing. (full review)
19. from20 – Beat It
from20 hit us with two synth bangers this year, proving that there’s still life in the beat-drop-chorus format if the beat drop in question is this dynamic. It’s a commanding sound. (full review)
18. Jungkook (BTS) – Standing Next To You
While Jungkook’s pre-release tracks were total earworms, Standing Next To You served the full musical meal. He fits this old-school funk sound like a glove, offering a smooth performance over the track’s sinewy groove. (full review)
17. TXT – Back For More (ft. Anitta)
TXT’s main title tracks didn’t quite soar for me, but this pre-release collaboration caught the group at their funky best. I actually prefer the version without Anitta (that second verse!), but whichever track you choose, make sure it’s equipped with the outstanding dance break outro. (full review)
16. The Wind – Island
Like their namesake, The Wind blew in like a fresh spring breeze, bringing a bit of debut-era GFriend cosplay with them. It’s an approach I’ll gladly celebrate — especially when stacked against the dark, shouty fare delivered by many of their peers. (full review)
15. Jeon Somi – Fast Forward
Many have called Fast Forward little more than generic dance pop, but this is a style that hits all my pleasure centers. From the dynamic pre-chorus to the warped vocal hook at its center, this was one of the year’s most enduring club anthems. (full review)
14. RIIZE – Memories
RIIZE toed the line between NCT-style hip-hop and refreshing melodies on pre-release Memories. I prefer the latter approach for their music, but the song’s hodgepodge structure works surprisingly well. The chugging chorus is a real standout. (full review)
13. The Wind – We Go
The Wind took a stronger rock influence for their first comeback, surging out of the gate with classic K-pop style and a soaring chorus that takes advantage of their strong vocals. (full review)
12. Tempest – Dangerous
Tempest continue to face a musical identity crisis, but when they embrace their funk side they’re nearly unstoppable. Dangerous is anchored by a barreling beat and freewheeling energy that keeps things light and bouncy all the way through. (full review)
11. NCT Dream – Broken Melodies
I did not expect anthemic pomp rock from NCT Dream, but Broken Melodies‘ sense of bombast brings it the closest to the top ten that any NCT act has managed in years. The go-for-broke bridge is absolutely huge. (full review)