2010 has been an exciting year for Korean Music with the debut of new artists, old artists returning to the music scene, and controversies within the entertainment industry. Despite the bad times, these are the good times as we celebrate the Top 10 K-Pop Songs of 2010 compiled by yours truly, Sanjo-chan! This year, I have found new artists to embrace for years to come thanks to fellow BBAMAJAM members and K-Pop aficionados, Kym and Erica. Being a follower of K-Pop since 2004, I am already infected with the K-Pop virus… but it is quickly spreading to others with no known cure other than listening to these songs everyday as directed. After listening to these songs, I am sure that you will fall victim of the “Korean Wave”.
#10: 2NE1 – Try to Copy Me
2NE1‘s comeback after their debut and “Fire” and with Big Bang for the “Lollipop” single is “Try to Copy Me”. To tell the truth, I am not a huge fan of 2NE1 despite them being dubbed the “Female Big Bang”, but this one stays in your head whether you like them or not.
#9: CN Blue – I’m a Loner
A new band on the K-Pop scene. CN Blue‘s style of music isn’t really pop, but more Pop Rock oriented. The entire Rock genre does not get a lot of attention in Korea, with the exception of Seo Taiji and Jaurim, but is treated more as an underground movement. The lead singer of CN Blue, Jung Yong Hwa, rose to stardom in the 2009 K-drama, You’re Beautiful.
#8: KARA – Lupin
Another notable song of the year from veteran girl group, KARA, is “Lupin”. After their debut in 2007, they still have a plenty of steam, despite the fact their style has changed slightly from their debut song, “If U Wanna”.
#7: Epik High – Run
Epik High is an excellent example of what Hip Hop should be in the 21st Century if other artists didn’t rely on Auto Tune to break into the industry and talk about random things that don’t make sense. 2010 has been a bit turbulent for Epik High: with claims made by anti-fans of EH leader Tablo of him not graduating from Stanford University, and Mithra Jin enlisting in the army, soon to leave Tablo behind. 2010 saw the release of “Epilogue”, the first album without DJ Tukutz who left for the military in 2009.
#6: Rain – Love Song
Rain returns for the first time since his “Rainism” album in 2008 and from his entry into Hollywood with Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin with his mini-album: “Back to the Basic”. It is back to basics with “Love Song”, a signature Rain track.
#5: Miss A – Bad Girl, Good Girl
“Bad Girl, Good Girl” from JYP Entertainment rookie group Miss A was awarded the Song of the Year at the Mnet Asian Media Awards, and it deserved it. Like with the songs (that are on this list, anyway) that came out this year, this is the song that sticks in your mind for a long time.
#4: The Boss (D-NA) – Admiring Boy
“Admiring Boy” is the debut single of Dae Guk Nam Ah, or “The Boss”. After promoting their impending debut with introductions of the members a month prior to their debut, fans welcomed them into the world of K-Pop. It is said that this song sounds like an earlier song from TVXQ, and that the group themselves is a 2010s incarnation of the aforementioned group, but they have a lot of work to do before becoming the next “wave” group.
#3: SHINee – Lucifer
The “Lucifer” track from SHINee is their comeback hit of the year after their Ring Ding Dong promotions from 2009, The Year of Us a year ago. SHINee never disappoints their fans with their catchy songs: “Pretty Cutie (Replay)”, “Love Like Oxygen”, “Amigo”, and “Juliette” are to name a few.
#2: Girls’ Generation (SNSD) – Oh!
“Oh!” from Girls Generation is from their second album of the same title, their first album in 2010. After the success of “Gee” in 2009, it was a matter of time before another viral hit from the 9-member group struck the Mnet charts world.
And the number one K-Pop song for 2010 is… *drumroll please!*
#1: Beast (B2ST) – Shock
After hearing about this group from fellow BBAMAJAM member and K-Pop fan Kym, “Shock” is on my most played songs list on my iPod. It is impossible not to get the lyrics “Everyday I Shock (Shock!), Every night I Shock (Shock!)” out of your head. Shock is not the only catchy song from their growing discography, but their 2009 debut single “Bad Girl” is just as addicting. B2ST is so awesome that they’re Zippy’s favorite Asian artist of 2010!
Honorable Mention: DJ DOC – I’m That Kind of Person
There’s only room for 10 songs on this list, but there is one I really wanted to include. As an honorable mention, I choose DJ DOC‘s “I’m that Kind of Person”. Listening to their earlier songs (dating back to the mid 90s), they remind me of what Epik High would have sounded like back then: this continues the trend. This song appears on their album, “Elegant”, the first in several years.
Thanks for reading! Have a Happy New Year!