Music Review

The Top 100 Korean Songs of 2016

From K-Pop to R&B, folk to rock, these are my top Korean songs of 2016.

70 Jay Park“Aquaman”

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED

Release Date: 10/20/16
Genre: R&B/Soul
Listen | MV

Jay Park has learned through trial and error the formula to produce great R&B music, and he succeeds in waves with “Aquaman.” Just disregard the lyrical cringiness about cunnilingus to appreciate its finer details.


69 MOBB“빨리 전화해 (Hit Me) (Feat. KUSH)”

The MOBB
The MOBB

Release Date: 9/9/16
Genre: Rap/Hip-Hop, Dance
Listen | MV

This year, WINNER and iKON unit MOBB were able to find a sweet spot between each member’s style with “Hit Me.” Mino and Bobby hop from bulletproof verses to addicting melodies with ease in this balls-to-the-wall hype track that I can’t seem to let go.


68 NCT U“The 7th Sense”

일곱 번째 감각 (The 7th Sense)
일곱 번째 감각 (The 7th Sense)

Release Date: 4/9/16
Genre: Dance
Listen | MV

“The 7th Sense” is eerie, rhythmically interesting, and features impressive vocal moments from Taeyong, who convinces in his deep, swag-tastic delivery, and DoYoung, whose smooth singing hovers beautifully above the song. When it slips into an R&B refrain, that’s when I raise a curious eyebrow and wonder what else this unit has to offer.


67 MAMAMOO“넌 is 뭔들 (You’re The Best)”

Melting
Melting

Release Date: 2/26/16
Genre: R&B/Soul, Dance
Listen | MV

Vocally the tightest girl group around, Mamamoo offered some interesting pickings this year, the strongest being the feisty “You’re The Best.” Its chorus is pop music gold, with enough vocal twists and turns throughout the verses to get even the prickliest person to shake their ass.


66 Park Hyo Shin“Home”

I am A Dreamer
I am A Dreamer

Release Date: 10/3/16
Genre: Ballad
Listen | MV

Park Hyo Shin’s ability to find your heartstrings and tug on them is only part of the reason he’s beloved by many. His ear for crafting immersive ballads without fault is another, and he accomplishes both masterfully with “Home.” The song opens softly then gradually expands to occupy every nook and cranny of your heart (if you have one).


65 10cm“봄이 좋냐?? (What The Spring??)”

3.2
3.2

Release Date: 4/1/16
Genre: Folk
Listen | MV

Be it indie or mainstream, 2016 was a great year for folk artists. 10cm’s “What The Spring??” brought the feel-good, light-hearted color of the group’s music back to the airwaves after several years of obscurity.


64 IDIOTAPE“단발머리 (Short Hair)”

RE
RE

Release Date: 4/22/16
Genre: Rock, Electronica
Listen

Compared to the band’s previous endeavors, IDIOTAPE’s 2016 RE EP was a tame take on the group’s otherwise ferocious spin on electronica. Still, songs like “Short Hair” delivered en mass. The playful mid-tempo pleases with a welcomed softness and an exhilarating instrumental.


63 W“카우걸을 위한 자장가는 없다 (No Lullaby For Cowgirl) (Feat. Whale)”

No lullaby for Cowgirl
No lullaby for Cowgirl

Release Date: 2/26/16
Genre: Electronica
Listen | MV

Singer Whale chooses her projects wisely. This year, she reunited with W to release “No Lullaby For Cowgirl,” a fun single that dances between country and electronica. It opens innocently only to drop the beat a minute later in what is one of the most unique entries on the list.


62 Monsta X“걸어 (All In)”

THE CLAN pt.1 `LOST`
THE CLAN pt.1 `LOST`

Release Date: 5/18/16
Genre: Rap/Hip-Hop, Dance
Listen | MV

“All In” brings Monsta X to their finest moment in their career yet, providing an excellent blend of vocal prowess (thanks to Kihyun) and sharp rap elements from Jooheon and I.M., whose dynamic alone is furiously intense.


61 Lim Jeong Hee (임정희)“Crazy”

CRAZY
CRAZY

Release Date: 2/29/16
Genre: Ballad
Listen | MV

Lim Jeong Hee pours her heart out in “Crazy,” a chilling ballad that keeps the instrumental relatively simple for the sole purpose of focusing squarely on her vocals. Lim belts all over this one, making “Crazy” one of this year’s finest moments in female vocal showmanship.


5 comments on “The Top 100 Korean Songs of 2016

  1. Pingback: Five EXO B-Sides Off Five Different Albums To Celebrate #5YearsWithEXO – Is This How You K-Pop?

  2. Pingback: The 20 Best Korean Songs of 2016 – Something, Something, Music

  3. Pingback: Best of 2016: Honorable Mentions | Is This How You K-Pop?

  4. Pingback: My Favourite Korean Songs of 2016 - ATK Magazine

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