Joelle’s Top 50 K-POP Songs for 2014: 30-21

We’re at the middle of the road with the music; the end is in sight! Numbers 50 through 31 brought some surprises and shocks, I’m sure, and that’s not going to stop. So what other songs made it? Let’s find out!

30. Stellar “Mask”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnROp2RyanM

Stellar was another group mired in controversy this year due to their initial comeback single “Marionette.” When they returned with “Mask,” a sexier concept remained, but this time it was toned down and people took more notice to the music. “Mask” has a mid-2000s K-Pop feel backed by pretty singing. The parts where they sing “I’m afraid I’ll get caught” (English trans.) provide coy femininity as the lines are considerably quieter than the rest of the lyrics. Despite the controversies, this style of music suits Stellar well.

29. Kyuhyun “At Gwanghwamun”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUbq_IXBaYg

Kyuhyun’s voice is perfectly suited for ballads, so it is fitting he made his solo debut with one. “At Gwanghwamun” radiates warmth and tenderness even though the MV and song reaches out to singles. There is emotion in his voice although the MV is pretty much emotionless, but that’s okay. The song will make a listener have all the feels anyway.

28. Wheesung “Night and Day”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdep8srF-w8

Wheesung’s voice is absolutely necessary in the industry, period. He is distinct and recognizable which adds an amazing layer to his music. “Night and Day” provides strength and emotion with every waver of his voice. Listening to Wheesung here provides an opportunity to escape to a whole other world.

27. Lucky J “Can You Hear Me?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDPvocJ3Mq0

Co-ed groups add an interesting dynamic, so it’s a shame they’re so few currently. Lucky J’s “Can You Hear Me?” is rich and smooth in a unique way with feminine soul and ear-catching rap. The R&B elements that peek out here and there just give the song something that makes a listener pause to truly listen to words.

26. Kiss&Cry “Domino Game”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCC4XQj4aUc

With conflicting reports over whether they completely disbanded or “on pause,” anything negative happening to Kiss&Cry is inconceivable considering how they caught everyone’s attention when they debuted. “Domino Game” is abnormally good because of Kiss&Cry’s amazing vocals. The song is crazy-addictive and deserved way more recognition than it received in Korea. Hopefully 2015 will bring the girls back as a whole group because the world is theirs for the taking!

25. Purfles “1, 2, 3”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzB41vHI9Vw

Another rookie group to watch in 2015, Purfles, came out with guns blazing. “1, 2, 3” boasts amazing bass, but Purfles just brings the house down! Their voices contain so much power that they are extremely hard to ignore.

24. Mamamoo “Mr. Ambitious”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D15-XYRubsc

“Mr. Ambitious” marked Mamamoo’s official debut though they had two songs prior to it. What makes Mamamoo awesome is how they incorporate 1940s swag and swing to make a modern hit to create a song that has an old soul and lots of fun. Mamamoo is an exciting group to watch. Plus, they’ve yet to have a bad song.

23. Mad Clown ft. Hyorin “Without You”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpmYwDhxZoU

Mad Clown’s rapping sounds more like talk-rapping than actual musical-rapping. In his case, it actually works to generate an interesting dynamic with whomever he pairs with for a title track. Mad Clown and Hyorin create something magical with the sadness she conveys in her parts and the anger he has in his. Together, the two create magic.

22. B.A.P “1004 (Angel)”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGolQ9LzbkY

It’s been quite a year for B.A.P: Another world tour, a nomination for an MTV EMA, and a lawsuit, the latter finishing their year. However, “1004” was one of the many highlights. The song won them a few music show trophies and gave them further international recognition. The emotional song still carries B.A.P’s signature style which makes it unique and powerful.

21. Winner “Empty”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEqlF5N8UMs

New YG groups tend to not feel like rookies when they debut, and that’s the case with Winner. “Empty” features smooth rapping and vocals that capture the ears and mind. Seungyoon and Mino’s back and forth starting at 3:13 is especially pleasing and soothing. “Empty” has something for everyone.

 

We’re heading toward the end. Have you seen your favorites yet? Who do you predict will be in the top 10 coming soon? Stay tuned tomorrow for 20 through 11!

—-Joelle Halon

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