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Top 100 K-Pop Singles (90s-2010s): 30-21

Updated: Aug 18



Honorable mentions

100-91

90-81

80-71

70-61

60-51

50-41

40-31

 

30. EXO- History (2012)

I don't think fans would consider this as iconic as EXO's other singles. However, History places itself among the best K-Pop songs due to its tight, jagged production.






29. ZE:A- The Ghost of Wind (2013)

Just because you're not popular doesn't mean you shouldn't come out big. That's exactly what ZE:A believed in, and it shows through the track The Ghost of Wind. The gorgeous string section, the haunting operatic vocal sample, and the potent two-part chorus are key ingredients for the song's formidable sound, something you wouldn't hear on everyday radio.






28. Infinite- Man in Love (2013)

Man in Love is just pure happiness! The synth-induced opening is evident that it was going to be robust, and the main refrain supports that claim. What's even more satisfying is the climax, as it sees the song soaring to the sky to present a rich musical experience.






27. BoA- Atlantis Princess (2003)

While BoA is known for her hard-hitting singles, none can match the warm sound of Atlantis Princess. Its verses and pre-choruses effectively build up to a swirling chorus that is melodically welcoming, while BoA adds some thickness to it. She also gives her best vocal moment during the song's final push.






26. Snuper- The Star of Stars (2017)

Out of the singles featured in this set, The Star of Stars is the most underrated track. It's a shame because not only is it an exciting song with captivating synths, but it's also the best song of the 4th generation. In a year when tropical became a trend, Stars took and transformed it into an exuberant piece of music production!






25. B1A4- Lonely (2014)

Lonely has what I'm looking for in a ballad - gripping hooks and an ear-catching chorus. It may not stand out at first, but its melodies are compassionate. However, the song reveals its true power by delivering a euphoric climax.






24. Big Bang- Fantastic Baby (2012)

This is Big Bang's answer to the question "what is K-Pop?" Beyond that, Fantastic Baby perfected the tricks of what an appealing EDM track would sound like, soon becoming a modern staple in the industry.






23. B1A4- What's Happening? (2013)

I prefer Lonely as the best B1A4 single, but What's Happening? is a strong challenger for that title. Unlike Lonely, this song is high-energy pop music, delivering a youthful, catchy sound.






22. H.O.T- Hope (1998)

I've mentioned that '90s K-Pop has a specific character to it, but Hope is one of those songs that drift away from it. It's all thanks to its uplifting production, featuring vocals that are performative and emotional. This is as classic as a classic K-Pop male group song can get, and it has become a national anthem for SM Entertainment and 90s K-Pop.






21. Beast- Fiction (2011)

When you think of Beast, you think of Fiction. There are reasons why this song is a classic. From the iconic synth riff to the caressing, timeless hook, this single provides a composition that most melancholic tracks can't compete against.


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