Catalog of Thoughts Music

ITHYP Presents: The 50 Best Songs of 2018 – Part 1

Part 1 is here, featuring EXO, Shawn Mendes, The 1975, and more.

2018 will go down as the year this blog made a significant shift towards broadening its musical bandwidth. While K-pop continued to explode across the globe, it felt right to move this blog in a direction in which Korean music and pop culture were treated like a piece of a whole rather than an isolated niche. This interconnection was happening on a personal level long before this move so it was only a matter of time until this blog shifted gears along with me.

Below is a collection of songs, ranked from 50 to 01, starting with the first 25 and followed soon by the remaining half in Part 2 (coming later this week!).

As always, enjoy my 50 Best Songs of 2018 and make sure you share some of your favorites with me in the comments section below, or hit me up on Twitter so I can retweet all the great music I failed to mention here!

50. BLACKPINK – Forever Young

“Forever Young” is the spunky sister-track to “Ddu-du-ddu-du”; its second half is so exciting that it’s nearly impossible not to hit repeat.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

49. BTS – Epiphany

Of all the music BTS released this year, it was “Epiphany” that captured my attention most. Its delicate melody and Jin’s sincere delivery created a lovely atmosphere that stood out to me among BTS’ noisier tracks.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

48. Dan + Shay – Tequila

If there’s anything that Dan + Shay’s “Tequila” got right it’s how absurdly catchy it was for about 2/3 of 2018. I’m still singing the hell out of it, and it’s December.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

47. Mark Ronson – Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (feat. Miley Cyrus)

Miley Cyrus was born to sing Country Music, and her contribution to Mark Ronson’s “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” all but carves that theory into stone. Cyrus’ hearty voice brought a level of warmth to a relatively sad single, one that she sold with a conviction only she could pull off.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

46. PUTOCHINOMARICÓN – Gente De Mierda

Spanish underground pop artist PUTOCHINOMARICÓN released a firey album this year spearheaded by “Gente de Mierda,” an anthem dedicated to the shitty people in this world.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

45. MOMOLAND – Bboom Bboom

An earworm for the history books. MOMOLAND’s “Bboom Bboom” was the bouncy burst of energy I needed in K-pop this year.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

44. Miriam Rodríguez – Sin Rencor

Miriam Rodríguez, one of OT 2017’s finalists, flexed her songwriting skills on her debut album Cicatrices; one of the best tracks to come from it was the melancholic “Sin Rencor.”
Listen Spotify | Apple Music


R&B fits SAAY like a glove, and she proved it when she dropped her 18-track album Classic. The incredibly smooth “Encore” wowed me upon first listen, and it continued to work its magic on me all year long.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

42. Jessie Reyez – Apple Juice

The emotional weight that Jessie Reyez carries through her music is hard to resist and she punched right through me with a ferocious right hook in “Apple Juice.”
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

41. Cami – No Es Real (feat. Antonio José)

Sexy duets were surprisingly hard to come by in 2018, but Cami and Antonio José were the exception. Their Latin bop “No Es Real” delivered both emotional and aural satisfaction.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

40. Rozalén – Al Cantar (feat. Amaia Romero)

This ode to the artistic nirvana felt by a singer when they’re singing found a nice little spot in my heart and never quite left its post. Amaia Romero’s voice is absolutely enchanting here, and Rozalén wows as always.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

39. Ella Mai – Trip

Ella Mai’s “Trip” is a chill jam that goes down smooth. Its hook is hypnotizing, as it sits comfortably over a simple piano riff.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

38. CHUNG HA – Roller Coaster

Much like its name, CHUNG HA’s “Roller Coaster” takes you through an array of bells and whistles, motifs, and melodic surprises. It’s fast-paced and a fun adrenaline booster.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

37. Anderson .Paak – Who R U?

“Who R U?” might be a minimalistic track, but .Paak’s sharp delivery is all you really need for it to slap.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

36. HEIZE – Jenga (feat. Gaeko)

HEIZE’s jazzy “Jenga” rose high early as one of 2018’s best Korean songs. She had me covered when I needed something chill to study to and feel rad af while doing so.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

35. Shawn Mendes – In My Blood

I never thought a song would hit me as hard as “In My Blood” did, but 2018 was admittedly one of the worst years I’ve had in a very long time and Shawn Mendes managed to pull me out of the pits of darkness by every fiber of my being when I needed it most. Go figure.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

34. Lauren Daigle – You Say

In many ways “You Say” accomplished what “In My Blood” did for me, and much more. It will come as a surprise to some, but I’ve had a rocky journey with my faith. While I’m not going to sit here and spill my entire beliefs on the table, I will say that turning to spiritual guidance has healed me profoundly over the years, and 2018 took every ounce of strength I could muster to make it to today. “You Say” by the incredible Lauren Daigle kind of put all of that into words beautifully.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

33. La Casa Azul – El Momento

“El Momento” brought La Casa Azul back into the spotlight as one of Spain’s coolest pop acts of 2018. The song propels through a pre-chorus/chorus so electrifying, that you’ll find its disorienting nature absolutely addicting.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

32. EXO – Oasis

EXO surprised me this year when they dropped Don’t Mess Up My Tempo, their 5th studio album. It drew heavily from recognizable themes found in the group’s previous projects, and EXO explored those themes through a much finer lens; “Oasis,” for example, is the smoothest contemporary R&B track EXO has dropped in recent memory, exploding with enough vocal prowess to spare.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

31. Alfred García – De La Tierra Hasta Marte

“De La Tierra Hasta Marte” nails the nostalgia vibes you’d expect from a mid 2000’s anthem perfectly. Alfred García’s tender voice was meant for this light, indie style of rock music, and you hear it in full throughout this single, as well as on the rest of his recently released debut album, 1016.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

30. 88rising, Higher Music, BlocBoy JB – Let It Go

When I needed a killer hype song to put me in a good mood this year I turned to “Let It Go” by the 88rising crew. Each verse flies at you like a firecracker, bouncing from one crisp bar to the next without ever missing a beat.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

29. SHINee – Good Evening

I was glad to see SHINee release feel-good music this year, because it helped the healing process for those of us affected by Jonghyun’s passing go by a little smoother. “Good Evening” never failed to find its way back into my repeat list. It’s the classic, EDM-focused SHINee that I love and will stand the test of time as one of their strongest singles to date.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

28.Tami T – Princess

Tami T tears through gender norms and refuses to be identified as anything other than royalty in this up-beat, pop extravaganza.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

27. Conan Gray – Generation Why

Dreamy pop music has always held a special place in my heart, especially the youthful, coming-of-age variation, and Conan Gray’s “Generation Why” checks off all those boxes.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

26. The 1975 – Love It If We Made It

The lyrics to The 1975’s “Love It If We Made It” alone are incredibly compelling, diving head-first into some of the most complex and alarming issues strangling society today; the melodic beauty and sonic bliss of the song itself is just a bonus.
Listen Spotify | Apple Music

2 comments on “ITHYP Presents: The 50 Best Songs of 2018 – Part 1

  1. Pingback: ITHYP Presents: The 50 Best Songs of 2018 – Part 2 - K-Pop

  2. Pingback: ITHYP Presents: The 50 Best Songs of 2018 – Part 2 – Is This How You Pop?

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