You know what this list is. You Know what it’s about. Let’s just get on with it shall we?
And yes the B-sides this year were absolutely amazing and the top few picks are absolutely phenomenal.
Dreamcatcher – 4Memory
GWSN – I Can’t Breathe
Victon – Unpredictable
CIX – Bad Dream, Genie In A Bottle
Mirae – Bang Up
ONEUS – I.P.U
ASTRO – Footprint
TXT – Ito
Brave Girls – Summer by Myself
ONF – I.T.L.U
76. SHINee – Area
I know I said top 75 but this track Is just too gorgeous to leave out. Area‘s sparse percussive backbone is beautiful, allowing SHINee to showcase the true range of their vocals. That falsetto led hook is divine.
75. ENHYPEN – Blockbuster (feat. Yeonjun)
A driving punk rock track that injected a surprisingly amount into the groups initially droning vocal blend, Blockbuster stood as one of the strongest deep cuts off the groups great ‘Dimension: Dilemma’ album.
74. Dreamcatcher – New Days
Every Dreamcatcher album always has that one ‘anime opening’ style track and for the groups fantastic January Mini ‘Dystopia: road to utopia’, New Days was the track that fit perfectly under that bill. Its driving rock production and emotive melody are a match made in heaven.
73. SHINee – Body Rhythm
Immensely groovy and incredibly satisfying, Body Rhythm fully committed to the reggaeton approach and combined it with SHINee’s always potent vocal blend to create one of the years most vibe worthy tracks.
72. ONEUS – Rewind
Emotive EDM is one of my biggest weaknesses and the massive, twisted drop that anchors Rewind is an absolute gem, conveying just the right amount of emotion whilst still feeling like the grand centrepiece It was designed to be.
71. AB6IX – Walking In The Rain
A funky house track that carries a surprising amount of vocal power, Walking In The Rain‘s rousing hook stands as one of the best moments in AB6IX’s burgeoning discography.
70. Everglow – Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
A killer pop track that would have been even better given a stronger vocal performance, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell‘s central melody is as sharply honed as a Michelin star chefs knife. These bright Everglow B-sides just keep getting better and better.
69. KEY (SHINee) – Saturday Night
‘Bad Love’ was amongst one of the years finest mini albums and tracks like Saturday Night are proof of its consistency. Though the falsetto driven hook isn’t the strongest, it’s surrounding by some of the years most atmospheric verses that give Saturday a stunningly retro sheen.
68. LUCY – One By One
LUCY began to branch out their sound this year and no other track showcased this as well as the vocoder assisted One By one. It’s the most unique Lucy track yet, experimenting with different electronic textures to create a near otherworldly listening experience.
67. Dreamnote – Night
After an extended hiatus, Dreamnote made a comeback with a great mini album and alongside title track Ghost, the retro synthpop of Night was the easy standout. It’s essentially the girl group version of SF9’s great Into The Night from last year.
66. Everglow – Don’t Speak
In complete contrast to the other bright Everglow b-side on the list, Don’t Speak shines thanks to its brilliant vocal performance. The girls go all out here, melding bright jazzy undertones with some incredibly fun call and response verses.
65. Dreamcatcher – Alldaylong
Many groups have attempted city pop inspired tracks this year but few got it as right as Dreamcatcher’s Alldaylong. The production is immaculate, perfectly accentuating the vaguely nostalgic melody with instrumentation that feels as though you’ve been transported right back to 80’s Japan.
64. Ren (NU’EST) – Rocket Rocket
A take no prisoners pop assault from NU’EST’s youngest, Rocket Rocket is a full on one man party, carried by an incredibly charismatic performance and larger than life production that refuses to let up.
63. ONEUS – Only One
ONEUS were on fire in 2021, releasing a string of great songs across both Korea and Japan. Only One was a Japanese exclusive b-side and re-ignited the pulsing dance pop energy of their debut effort into a tight 3 minute long package. 2019 Arpydarpy would have been frothing at the mouth if he heard this.
62. NCT 127 – Breakfast
Home to one of the dirtiest beats of the year, Breakfast sees NCT 127 tackle a groovier, house based soundscape to stunning effect.
61. Golden Child – Round N Round
A slinky dance track that never quite maps out where it’s going, Round N Round feels like one great surprise after another before climaxing into a packed chorus which incorporates a soaring melody and staggered rap breaks to great effect.
60. A.C.E – Spark
An OST that refused to leave me brain after the moment I heard it, Spark is one of the strongest displays of A.C.E’s great vocal blend, laying the boys performance over an instantly gripping guitar loop and bouncing percussion backbone that I just love.
59. ASTRO – Waterfall
Astro have always been one of my favourite groups and when they come together for a highly melodic pop track, the results are almost always bound to impress. And when Waterfall‘s soaring chorus crashes in, everything just feels right in the world.
58. CIX – Off My Mind
Bouncy percussion and rhythm guitar are a surefire way to get into my good books and Off My Mind‘s excellent pre-chorus + chorus combination hits all the right buttons. This is groove central right here.
57. U-Know – La Rosa (feat. Shin Yeeun) (review)
A gorgeous latin inspired mid tempo duet performed to absolute perfection by U-know and Shin Yeeun, La Rosa conveys so much emotional pathos through the back and forth delivery between performers that once we get to the breathtaking finale, it’s as though we’ve a part of their journey since the very start.
56. ATEEZ – Rocky
A blistering rock track that harkened back to the groups flawless Treasure era, Rocky stood as a strong anchor for the groups latest mini album. The searing electric guitars and weighty chorus are a fantastic match.
55. U-Know – Need You Right Now
A satisfying blend of rhythmic percussion and synth wave, Need You Right stripped back the bombast of ‘Noir”s first three tracks to give us a knockout track that took full advantage of U-Know’s surprisingly tender vocals.
54. TXT – Dear Sputnik
An aggressive pop rock that shone full light on the groups incredibly unique vocal tones whilst still leaving room for a massive chorus that resounds like many a stadium conquering hit.
53. Verivery – Underdog
After two pretty big misses at a darker concept, Verivery managed to nail their intended sound on almost every single track on their latest mini, ‘Round II: Hole”. Underdog‘s experimental dark funk is the projects most “out there” moment, circling around an addictive hook that while more reserved than its chaotic verses, manages to standout all on its own This would have been the perfect sequel to 2020’s Lay Back..
52. Lucy – Run To You
Buoyed by its near flawless chorus, Run To You stands as one of the years best OST’s, perfectly conveying the kind of hearty melancholy and free spirited nature of its drama whilst still standing as an incredibly strong song on its own.
51. Team JYP – Get Loud
Basically a Stray Kids song that was better than anything Stray Kids released this year, Get Loud acted as Team JYP’s celebratory single at the end of the LOUD survival show. And while it’s still rough around the edges, it’s a track that’s bursting with character, melding an incredibly satisfying electronic beat with a shout to the rafters two part chorus that works wonders. I’m very excited to see these boys debut.