Updated: Feb 16
Here's a list of 50 Korean singles that I think were the best of 2021. Remember, everything here is my opinion. Before we get started, here are some things I like to mention:
- I only gathered singles from Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021
- Singles that were digital/part of an artist's album counted for this list
- OST, promotional, and special singles weren't counted
- A Korean single must be promoted to the Korean music market
Hope you guys enjoy my list!
20. Lucy- I Got U
Idol band Lucy is highly underrated. If you don't know them, then this is the perfect time to listen to them through this song, I Got U. The overall production of this track encompasses what makes Lucy such a standout band. This single will make you feel the need of wanting to escape from reality!
19. DreamNote- Ghost
What a change in concept! DreamNote's Ghost was one of the most surprising aspects of 2021 K-Pop. This pop rock-inspired single is mighty and bold. It was also released during the right time of the year, harnessing all the spooky glory!
18. IU- Lilac
As the name suggests, Lilac is as serene as it sounds. It's one of IU's best singles in years, and it's the perfect song to play during Spring, due to its breezy, light city pop sound.
17. Woosung- Dimples
Woosung (from The Rose) kept the retro trend going by releasing Dimples. The chorus is enjoyable to listen to, but it doesn't compare to the synth-dominated post-chorus!
16. Ghost9- Up All Night
It's impossible not to feel gleeful when listening to Up All Night. This jubilant track is reminiscent of early One Direction, but it finds a way to raise that sound to a new level of enjoyment!
15. ONF- Popping
ONF was firing on all cylinders during the first half of 2021, but that didn't stop them from releasing Popping. The track embraces the summer trope effectively, offering fun hooks and a joyful instrumental, with the synthesized flute as the main attraction.
14. TO1- Son of Beast
Formerly knowns as TOO, TO1 re-debut with a strong track in Son of Beast. The song opens up with a deep, funky rhythm before heading into its potent chorus, settling for an industrial type of music.
13. VERIVERY- Trigger
Trigger grabs your attention right away with its plucked instrumental, moments before it releases an energetic chorus. However, the chorus isn't the true star here. The 'bridge to final chorus' section is the song's ultimate hero in this production!
12. Mirae- Killa
Want to ignite a strong impression with your debut? Look at Mirae for example. Their debut track, Killa, is an ultimate showstopper! The energy is felt throughout this production, resulting in a hopeful future for the group!
11. Golden Child- Breathe
Haikyuu!! anyone? This concept isn't present in K-Pop, but it should be. Golden Child proved its worth when they released Breathe. This sound was a must for the industry, as a handful of boy group singles were settling for the darker route. I mean, listening to this exuberant production makes you feel more than alive!