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.

50 SISTAR“I Like That”

沒我愛(몰아애)
沒我愛(몰아애)

Release Date: 6/21/16
Genre: Dance
Listen | MV

A year isn’t complete without a showstopping girl group banger and SISTAR, being the fierce four that they are, delivered in spades with “I Like That.” The song falls in line with the group’s brand of punchy pop – saxophone riff, earth-shaking climax and all.


49 DEAN“D (Half Moon) (Feat. Gaeko)”

130 mood : TRBL
130 mood : TRBL

Release Date: 3/24/16
Genre: R&B/Soul
Listen | MV

“D (Half Moon)” might have not been as successful among international fans as some of DEAN’s trillion other releases and features this year, but back on home turf, this smooth, ear-tingling ballad won the hearts of coffee sippers everywhere.


48 Jimin Park“ANSWER”

19에서 20
19에서 20

Release Date: 8/23/16
Genre: R&B/Soul
Listen

If you like the spunk of the late Aaliyah, then Jimin Park’s “ANSWER” will find a place in your music library. The severely underappreciated singer delivers one of the slickest R&B performances from a female voice this year in this surprisingly soulful b-side.


47 Block B“Toy”

Blooming Period
Blooming Period

Release Date: 4/11/16
Genre: R&B/Soul
Listen | MV

Block B found a nice groove this year, opting to go for a far less noisy single than usual with “Toy.” The chorus is one of their strongest, transitioning perfectly into a bass-heavy instrumental then back to colorful verses before repeating the whole process all over again.


46 SECHSKIES (젝스키스)“세 단어 (Three Words)”

세 단어
세 단어

Release Date: 10/7/16
Genre: Ballad
Listen | MV

What was once old is new is old is new again, and everything about “Three Words” seemed outdated on paper. Yet, SECHSKIES’ hit comeback single felt pleasantly refreshing to the ear and succeeded in cementing the group further as K-Pop legends.


45 UNICORN“Blink Blink”

UNICORN PLUS / THE BRAND NEW LABEL
UNICORN PLUS / THE BRAND NEW LABEL

Release Date: 7/28/16
Genre: Dance
Listen | MV

If you fused f(x) and Red Velvet’s sounds together, you would end up with the madness that is UNICORN and everything happening in their lead single “Blink Blink.” This high-octane banger is smothered with infectious melodies that culminate in a fantastic chorus that will more than likely leave your sweet tooth aching for days.


44 Echae en Route“Night Drive”

Night Drive
Night Drive

Release Date: 3/8/16
Genre: Rock
Listen | MV

Echae en Route’s uniqueness lies in vocalist Echae Kang’s masterful hand at crafting music that takes classical music out of the realm of obscurity by blending it with modern arrangements. “Night Drive” is exemplary for that exact reason, as the processing on both the instrumental and vocal track is elevated tremendously to achieve a near state of euphoria.


43 3rd Line Butterfly“나를 깨우네 (Awaken)”

나를 깨우네
나를 깨우네

Release Date: 10/19/16
Genre: Rock
Listen | MV

For a song over 11 minutes long, there’s a point one reaches while listening to “Awaken” that the passage of time ceases to be of concern, and every glimmering detail of its expansive composition is effective in liberating the mind.


42 EXO“Artificial Love”

EX`ACT - The 3rd Album
EX`ACT – The 3rd Album

Release Date: 6/9/16
Genre: Dance
Listen

In an ideal world, EXO would stick to releasing deep electronic tracks like “Artificial Love” because, as this proves, they execute it exceptionally well. From the funky verses to the back and forth exchange between members in the second half of the song – this is what EXO sounds like at their most experimental.


41 BTS (방탄소년단)“피 땀 눈물 (Blood, Sweat & Tears)”

WINGS
WINGS

Release Date: 10/10/16
Genre: Rap/Hip-Hop, Dance
Listen | MV

With K-Pop’s love affair with Western trends in music, it was only a matter of time before moombahton took stride in South Korea. BTS launched the genre to full blown status this year with their anthemic “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” scribbling ad-libs and catchy melodies all over it in true K-Pop style.


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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