Top K-Pop Songs for January 2016

Gone are the chilly, snowy days of January. Even though it seemed like the month rushed by, we did get to experience some good music during one of the slowest period of the year. Let’s take a look at ten of January’s gems.

  1. Stellar “Sting”

Stellar has been on a rocky road with fans since “Marionette” given what many deemed an inappropriately sexy concept. With “Sting,” they once again return with a sexy concept, but it’s toned down to enhance the attention on the song. “Sting” has some light retro theming with a strong chorus, but it’s not as strong as their sexier concept songs. While it’s good, it’s clear Stellar struggles to find their identity.

  1. Cross Gene “Noona, You”

Cross Gene fans always believed they could become a more popular group if given a chance. The catchy, addictive “Noona, You” garnered plenty of attention and love from even international fans. The song shows a more fun side to Cross Gene that resonated with many during the doldrums of winter. Hopefully it’s a sign of more fun to come.

  1. Lucky J “No Love”

The instrumentals make “No Love” memorable as they’re a strong mix of traditional and modern. J-Yo sounds fantastic as he carries the song to new heights. Jessi, who is a much better vocalist than a rapper, shined during the chorus with her unique voice. Lucky J needs to not wait so long between comebacks.

  1. TEENTOP “Warning Sign”

When “Warning Sign” starts, it almost sounds like it should have belonged to SHINee because there are hints of Taemin. TEENTOP need to change their name to MANTOP because the innocent image is definitely being shed. “Warning Sign” is a great song for them because it shows a more mature side. Their vocals sound more mature. The concept shift also isn’t bad as they step away from repetitive tracks like “Super Love” and “Rocking.”

  1. Jinsil and MC Mong “Aftereffect”

Jinsil’s unusual, haunting vocals will win people over every time. “Aftereffect” is a solid song that’s made complete by a strong vocal performance. The Jinsil’s vocal distortions add some artistic interest, while MC Mong’s rap portions are subtle and calm. There’s a beauty to “Aftereffect” that serves as proof that Jinsil and MC Mong should be a bonded pair for other songs.

  1. Yezi “Cider”

Yezi sheds her Fiestar image with her harder-sounding rap track “Cider.” Yezi has legit flow layered with the addictive track. The only issue with “Cider” is that 3:08 isn’t quite long enough. The song demands attention and could have easily been longer. If Fiestar disbands, we know Yezi will survive in the industry.

  1. Suzy (miss A) and Baekhyun (EXO) “Dream”

Suzy and Baekhyun show off their jazzy sides in “Dream,” a song that achieved an all-kill and well over eight million views on YouTube. Soft and melodious, “Dream” has hints of hope and romance. Both Suzy and Baekhyun have decent vocal chops outside their groups which fans seem to have noticed. The attention the song received is definitely well-earned.

  1. Zico “It Was Love” ft. Luna (f(x))

It’s amazing Luna hasn’t released a solo album yet because she has the abilities to do so. “It Was Love,” produced and written by Block B’s Zico, features Luna’s delicate, angelic voice. Luna’s vocals are soothing and heartbreaking in a song that points to Zico being more than an idol rapper, showing he is a multi-threat force.

  1. GFriend “Rough”

GFriend finally earned the coveted music show wins with “Rough,” and those wins were well-deserved. GFriend’s cute vocals and hardworking attitudes shined in the song. The song is a hybrid of J-Pop and K-Pop elements with a strong early 2000s soul behind it. Listening to it will make a listener feel nostalgic.

  1. Zico “I Am You, You Are Me”

Zico did an R&B ballad that turned out amazing. His vocals are surprisingly sweet and romantic, much different from his rap persona. “I Am You, You Are Me” like “It Was Love” shows that Zico is multi-faceted and should be considered a true artist.

What were your favorite songs for January 2016? Let us know!

—-Joelle Halon

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