Underrated K-Pop: Ranking Every Single by A-JAX

K-pop is littered with acts who – for one reason or another – didn’t get the full spotlight they deserved. I’ve spent plenty of time ranking and reviewed the industry’s biggest artists, but these underrated acts should never be forgotten.

This feature will take a look at disbanded groups and rank/rate their entire singles run, placing them in the pantheon of K-pop history.

For this feature’s first boy group, we’ve got a good one. It’s A-JAX!

Career timeline: 2012-2018

Overall sound: Varied quite a bit through their career, but their best material harnesses bombastic production and big hooks to brilliant effect.

7. You (2018)

Their final (Japanese) single, and a case of going out with a whimper. It’s a perfectly fine ballad, but pales in comparison to the rest of their singles. The synths in the chorus are nice, though.

Rating: 7.25

6. Romeo (2017)

For their first original J-pop single, the guys opted for a rock-influenced track. The verses are a bit tentative, but the rollicking chorus brings the firepower. It’s still not a match for their Korean material, though.

Rating: 7.75

5. Snake (2013)

Ah, the one with the endearing boy scout video. Seriously, I love this music video! But on its own, the song still has a ton of appeal. It’s surprisingly funky and there are some smart, catchy melodies packed into its pre-chorus.

Rating: 8.5

4. Hot Game (2012)

Hot Game is so emblematic of its era. Its punchy, staccato verses recall groups like SHINee and U-KISS, while the soaring chorus makes for an ultra-dramatic highlight. This sound is so unique to K-pop and I miss it dearly. It still feels like it came from another planet.

Rating: 8.75

3. One 4 U (2012)

Talk about debuting with a banger! One 4 U announced A-JAX’s arrival with symphonic grandeur. The intro alone is enough to draw attention, but the song goes on to unveil a mini rock opera with chugging guitar and resounding drums.

Rating: 9

2. Insane (2013)

For all you Infinite fans, A-JAX was another group who briefly worked with ace production duo Rphabet. Their work together is super solid, with the bombastic Insane standing as a jagged electro highlight. The build during the pre-chorus is absolutely mammoth and the sledgehammer hook that follows is a ton of fun.

Rating: 9

1. 2MYX (2012)

If A-JAX had given us nothing more than 2MYX, I’d still be satisfied. This is their legendary song, and for good reason. Modern K-pop really missed the boat not fully exploring this slamming Y2K sound. 2MYX easily competes with the best of Backstreet Boys and Nsync, borrowing their heavy percussion and anthemic hooks for a new era. I love everything about this.

Rating: 10


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