Kpop 2013

Having done the top 20 kpop lists for the first, second, third and fourth quarter of 2013, it is mostly a question of choosing 20 out of a total 80, even though there will be one outsider making it in the final top 20. To be fair, I will try to be a little extra critical towards songs from the latest quartet and try to judge which of those will loose their appeal.

First, though, 14 songs that made the first cut but not the later ones. All good but not top 20. Usually because of them not making it as well when judging them by the times I actually listen to them (i.e. without the video). Here they are:

  • Crayon Pop - Bar Bar Bar. This is really one of the most interesting tracks of the year and it has the third most hits on my blog ever, but honestly - I *never* listen to it without the video. I had to think twice before leaving it out of the top 20. Sorry, girls. I really love what you are doing but your other songs didn't rely solely on the visual gimmicks. I am not saying my favorite rookies of 2012 has lost it, just that the songs need to be good too.
  • Lee Jung Hyun - V. Again, I love the video, but never listen to the song.
  • My Name - We are the night.
  • BoA - Disturbance. The queen of kpop is still going strong.
  • Sistar19 - Gone not around any longer.
  • After School - First love.
  • MBLAQ - Smoky Girl. Great hit potential, yeah, but…wasn't it a little repetitive?
  • Seungri - Gotta Talk To U.
  • LC9 - Ma Beat. Memorable for its comic book-like violence.
  • Troublemaker - There is no tomorrow.
  • Ladies Code - Pretty Pretty. This is actually a song from the third quarter that in hindsight should have been a part of that top 20 list, even if not in the highest spots. It has that special thing that makes its interesting, and it actually grew on me over time.
  • Song Jieun - Spotless mind.
  • Andamiro - Waiting.
  • Mr Mr - Highway. This was the last to be cut from the top 20. Sorry guys, but still, you are really good.

The final list was really hard to reach without leaving out really great songs but here it is. Seen over the year, it is actually quite even with 4-5-5-6 songs from respective quarter.

20. Heo Yeong Saeng - The Art of Seduction (#4 Q1). A charming song and have ever been week for the "entrapment" videos of kpop...

19. Vixx - On and On (#3 Q1). I much more prefer this one to their recent Voodoo Doll as this one is a better song.

18. Boyfriend - I Yah (#5 Q1). The refrain has it all.

17. 9Muses - Wild (#12 Q2). The first song of the year was another god pop song, with a rather explicit video even for 9Muses.

16. Bebop & H.U.S. - Maem Maem (#10 Q3). One of the few indie hits to make it into the total top 20 for the year, it's a charming little piece from the duo (and H.U.S.).

15. Kara - Damaged Lady (#5 Q3). It is a little ironic that the last good song from Kara may be Damaged Lady, but it is better to leave this way. If it really is the end ... we will see in 2014.

14. After School - Heaven (#2 Q3). It has faded somewhat since the realize earlier this year, but it still stands (together with Shh) as an excellent example on how to mix jpop and kpop ingredients the best way.

13. 9Muses - Glue (#6 Q4). Their last single this year, they go all out in a basic video focusing on the members natural sexiness, but again, the song delivers too.

12. 9MusesGun (#5 Q4). Their best song and video this year. Really, they got all their three songs on my top 20, that is impressive, but Gun also shows us how good they are in a perfectly styled diorama about 9 girls "working" at  a gas station.

11. Dasoni - Good bye (#2 Q1). I honestly rather have EXID deliver new songs, but on the other hand, the debut of the sub-group Dasoni was really great. A clear and precise hit number which makes me wish there was more.

10. Chocolat - Black Tinkerbell (#3 Q2). I hope this was the breakthrough that needed, as I really think they got potential. A steady, quality pop song.

9. 2PM - A.D.T.O.Y. (#2 Q2). No girls, not "a toy", even if one may think so from the video. This is instead an impressive feat of intense rapping made rhythmic and attractive to me in the way only kpop can.

8. Sunmi - 24 hours (#3 Q3). The video was almost hypnotic in its deliverance the first time I saw it, with a visual language that is quite impressive. Passion and romance intertwined in a way that is almost erotic in a sensual way.

7. Girl's Day - Expect (#1 Q1). Yes, it is the "suspenders" video, but it is also a well executed kpop hit that missed top 3 due to it still being a little dependent on its video to last.

6. U Sung Eun - Healing (#4 Q4). The passion and soul of this song, the tender tempo changes and the dance scenes makes this the most beautiful song this year.

5. Yong Junhyung - Flower (#2 Q4). Best described as this year's version of 2012's Yang Yoseob's hit "Caffeine". A really cool song that is an excellent example of kpop masculinity.

4. Tiny-G - Miss you (#3 Q4). I had not imagined that this would end up so high on the list for 2013, but this is maybe the song which, together with the number one spot, has kept its freshness in my head even as time passes. I therefore places it above Yong Junhyung, because I think that in six months this song will probably have been played more.

3. Jewelry - Hot & Cold (#1 Q3). It is a very lovable and at the same time mature video in a way that suits me splendidly.

2. AoA - Confused (#1 Q4). Rookies last year, they return with a mature number oozing with quality. There is really nothing missing in what they did with the potential of this song type. Sistar won this year just because they chose a more winning tone from the start, not because AoA failed in any way.

1. Sistar - Give it to me (#1 Q2). I have known this since June that they would win this year. The four ladies of Sistar wins this not due to their choreography, or the lyrics, or their beauty, which are all top notch, but because of the drama and passion of the song. After six months it (honestly) still touches me each time I listen to it.

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