90 I.O.I – “너무너무너무 (Very Very Very)”
They say a word will lose its meaning the more times you repeat it. Well, JYP and I.O.I didn’t get the memo. Luckily, “Very Very Very” defies the laws of the universe by not only succeeding in its repetitiveness but capturing my heart in the process.
89 GOT7 – “Fly”
Release Date: 3/21/16
There’s a vague familiarity woven into the DNA of GOT7’s “Fly” that is nicely contrasted by rhythmic verses that keep it fresh. As always, GOT7 bring their unique vocal tones to the booth that continue to set them apart.
88 Love X Stereo – “Dead Beat Generation”
Release Date: 4/29/16
Annie Ko sounds absolutely mesmerizing on Love X Stereo’s eerie “Dead Beat Generation.” In a year when R&B and Hip-Hop rose to full mainstream status, it was refreshing to hear sparks of electro-pop done right from this promising duo.
87 Sam Kim – “NO눈치 (No Sense) (Feat. Crush)”
“No Sense” may be simple by design but Sam Kim’s spunk and slick guitar performance elevate this single to addicting heights. Having Crush swoop in for the lead-in to the breakdown is the icing on the cake.
86 FTISLAND – “Take Me Now”
This year, FTISLAND continued their journey out of the stagnating pop-rock sound they’ve been stuck in for years and toward a style more true to the genre. The aggression in “Take Me Now” was not only shocking to hear but surprisingly well executed.
85 SunWoo Jung-A & Jung Yong-Hwa – “불꽃놀이 (Fireworks)”
At first, SunWoo Jung-A and CNBLUE’s Jung Yong-Hwa were an unexpected pairing, but the moment “Fireworks” flickered on, time nearly stood still as these two singers flew me through a world of delicate electronica.
84 Sandeul – “그렇게 있어 줘 (Stay As You Are)”
A lot of new fans to K-Pop are possibly unaware that B1A4 houses one of the scene’s strongest vocalists – Sandeul. One listen to his heart-felt and emotional solo single “Stay As You Are” should change that fairly quickly.
83 NCT 127 – “Another World”
Release Date: 7/10/16
Genre: Dance, Electronica
NCT 127’s “Another World” is a groovy trap b-side with electronic inclinations that leaves me wanting more songs like it to devour. If Taeil and Jaehyun continue to improve as singers, Taeyong and Mark as rappers, this unit could become a formidable force under SM Entertainment.
82 O.WHEN – “Call Me Now”
Release Date: 10/11/16
There’s something very Beatles about newcomer O.WHEN’s “Call Me Now.” Be it its stripped down arrangement or dreamy melodies, O.WHEN succeeds in delivering this emotional song directly to the heart.
81 VIXX – “Fantasy”
VIXX reign supreme when it comes to dark concepts in idoldom, yet somehow they outdid themselves again this year with their sensational Hades single, “Fantasy.” Describing this as simply “epic” would be a severe understatement.