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Top 50 K-Pop Singles of 2012: 10-1

Updated: 6 days ago



Honorable Mentions

50-41

40-31

30-21

20-11

 

10. B1A4- Tried to Walk

B1A4 at their pensive best. I don't blame you for thinking Tried to Walk is a lost Big Bang song. That speaks testament to the group's music quality! The verses are gripping thanks to Jinyoung and Baro, and the glossy chorus shines with rich emotion.






9. 2NE1- I Love You

I Love You is such a gorgeous song! The hook only contains the repetition of the title track, but it's sung beautifully. We have the electronics to thank for contributing to this euphoric track. The verses are pretty, and CL's high note is a standout moment. After three and a half minutes, the song pulls a 180 and drops a sugar rush of excitement climax!






8. EXO- History

This track can only be described as taut and percussive. The group presents their chewiest vocal performance over a constant frenetic beat, hardly taking a break. The chorus is outstanding, and Chanyeol, Sehun, and Kai offer an engaging rap breakdown. History is the kind of song you need for a standout dance performance!






7. Big Bang- Fantastic Baby

K-pop has a lot of iconic staples, and Fantastic Baby is one of them. This EDM party anthem opens with piercing electronic, slowly building to its exemplary drop featuring a catchy "dance" repetition. Afterward are additional highlights, such as the GD-T.O.P verse and hair-raising pre-chorus. Above all, it's essential to experience this song by shouting this line - "Wow, Fantastic Baby."






6. Boyfriend- Janus

Dramatic from the beginning, Janus surges with majestic feelings backed by emotional strings and vocal performances. The most riveting aspect of this track is its pre-chorus, one of the best K-pop offers. The buildup is intense, gliding through the air before experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime moment. For Janus, that once-in-a-lifetime moment is its incredible chorus.






5. EXO- Mama

After releasing fantastic pre-debut songs, EXO upped the scale with their official debut track, Mama. 2012 produced incredible K-pop debuts, but only a few can catch up to this monster. You can tell from its opening that this isn't your typical pop song. From the Gregorian chants to the mighty chorus to the forward-thinking bridge, Mama is one of K-pop's most exhilarating debuts ever!






4. Big Bang- Monster

Taking cues from Lies and Haru Haru, Monster is another sorrowful, upbeat Big Bang masterpiece, though it's undervalued. The song presents itself like an artwork, mainly due to the opening dialogues and the disoriented piano key before the climax. In the middle of this heart-rending track is a throbbing, ambient-infused chorus that hits like a tsunami!






3. TVXQ!- Catch Me

How can a song sound colossal with only two members? The result can happen when pairing a master producer (Yoo Young-jin) with the right performers. Seriously, Catch Me is a highly innovative dubstep track, using the genre in the most glorious way possible. Its rip-roaring harmonic chorus is a high point, alongside an other-worldly breakdown. The guys killed it with their vocals!






2. Infinite- The Chaser

Infinite has a lot of masterpieces, but none can match this magnum opus. After opening with an out-of-this-world synthesizer, The Chaser builds to an authoritative, brassy chorus that avoids being a typical pop song. Every section of this massive single is a highlight, leaving no room for boredom. Dongwoo's rap, the second verse slow-down, Woohyun's key change - you name it!






1. SHINee- Sherlock (Clue + Note)

After a year without a Korean single, SHINee returned with the much-anticipated Sherlock (Clue + Note). This song isn't a simple return - it's a Broadway show! SHINee opens the song up with the infamous "SHINee's back" over a rubbery bass before delivering a funky beat with stabs of brass. The verses and bridge are exciting musical moments. In the middle of this spectacle is a towering chorus. The refrain is simple, yet it's harmonically sung with power. After this experience, you'll do what the climax told you - "Give it up for SHINee!"


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