Welcome to Kbopped’s countdown of the Top 100 K-pop songs of 2021.
To Be eligible for this list, songs must:
- Must released between the 1st of January to 31st of December 2021 and have either a music video or highly stylised lyric and/or performance video.
- English songs by Korean Artists are eligible though Japanese and/or Chinese songs are ineligible as they will show up in other lists
- This is all just my opinion. There is much bias to be found and if you’re unhappy with any of the placements, just remember that this is not meant to be a purely objective list.
100. ATEEZ – Deja Vu
A dynamic hip hop track that made great use of its performers, Deja Vu is carried by its constantly evolving beat and incredibly catchy hook. It’s classic ATEEZ, making excellent use of both the groups standout rap line for a track that only got better with age.
99. Jeon Somi- Dumb Dumb (review)
Somi’s strongest solo song yet focused on a more nostalgic verse melody before eventually blossoming into a stunning, hypnotic drop to create a stunning centrepiece. It’s all very 2019ish and all the more better for it.
98. 2Z – O@SIS
2Z released a great one two punch in April with their full length album, ‘Act1’. O@SIS was the more straightforward of the two singles, coasting forward on a combination of crunchy guitar and propulsive percussion. The chorus here is just fantastic.
97. U-Know – Thank U (review)
One half of K-pop’s crowned Kings started 2021 with a massive bang. Thank U is carried almost primarily by its potent, near tribal percussion. And not to be drowned out by the the production, U-Know performs the hell out of the track, adhering to a more sing/talk style of performance and as such imbuing every moment of Thank U with a real sense of drama.
96. ONEUS – Shut Up 받고 Crazy Hot!
2021 saw ONEUS have the most musically fruitful year of their career so far and Shut Up 받고 Crazy Hot! was one of the many standouts that we saw from the boys this year. The blistering keys sample is just ridiculous enough to work and the boys fully commit to the complete craziness of the track. And in the end that’s what makes it work so well.
95. CRAVITY – Veni Vidi Vici
Cravity and I havn’t really messed well in the singles department and the title of their 1st full length album Gas Pedal didn’t really help change that. But it was B-side turned single Veni Vidi Vici that changed everything for me. Taking inspiration from classic 60s/70s style rock / psychedelia, Veni Vidi Vici‘s throw everything in the sink approach doesn’t always work but when all its elements ramp up for that blistering guitar solo, every little qualm is instantly forgiven. Easily my favourite Cravity single yet.
94. WJSN THE BLACK – Easy (review)
WJSN’s second subunit, ‘The Black’ took a much sleeker approach to the bright, cartoonish nature of the groups first sub-unit ‘Chocome’ and though initially sceptical, I was instantly won over by Easy. The simplistic yet instantly catchy central hook is also what makes Easy a standout, maintaining the cool, chic nature of the concept in a taught musical package.
93. Everglow- Promise (review)
A bouncy, synth-kissed banger which should have acted as the natural successor for 2020’s immense La Di Da, Promise was an unexpectedly great track for what was essentially an ad/campaign slogan. The production was great, the girls performed the hell out of it and apart from the odd, overly serious breakdowns, it’s probably the brightest the girls have ever sounded on a single. Something I wish they would lean more into in the future.
92. Cherry Bullet – Love So Sweet (review)
Cherry Bullet’s best song yet, the bouncy, sugary Love So Sweet melds an instantly catchy melody with some of the years most interesting production. The percolating beat here is ever-changing, resulting in a listening experience that doesn’t ever get boring.
91. TO1 – Son of Beast (review)
As their first release since rebranding from TOO, Son of Beast had a lot riding on it. And thankfully, it lived up to much of what was expected. The hard hitting industrial beat instantly commands attention whilst still being incredibly funky. But Son of Beast isn’t all production, something most apparent during the tracks great chorus, which weaves in some great hooks through the percolating instrumental.