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[Best of the Best] Top 10 songs of 2012

f(x) - Electric Shock PSY - Oppa Gangnam Style SISTAR - Alone 4minute - Volume Up

2012 for me was the year of the soloist.  Most of the major groups put out songs this year, but most were fairly uninteresting for me(Secret’s “Talk That”, T-ara’s “Love Dovey” being among the few exceptions not mentioned below).  Of course, we can’t fail to mention Gangnam Style which blew up far more than anyone could have possibly anticipated, which again only highlights how good of a year it was for soloists.  When my friend in Peace Corp is telling me he’s even hearing it on local stations in South Africa, you know you’ve yourself a world-wide sensation.  Here I’ll discuss what I considered the best 10 songs of the last year.

10. JUNIEL – illa illa
Juniel - My First JuneRookie Juniel of FNC Entertainment, home to CNBlue and FT Island, made her Korean debut this year with the song “illa illa”.  To be honest, I actually didn’t listen to it when she first released it and it was only until I heard it in the drama “A Gentleman’s Dignity” did I start paying attention to her.  I immediately downloaded her album and came away impressed with the quality of the songs and the quality of her voice.  Her followup album 1&1 and title track “Bad Man” was almost as good as “illa illa”, but in this case I’m going to have to give the spot to the song that put her on my radar as an artist to look forward to.  Listen to it here

9. TaeTiSeo – Twinkle
TaeTiSeo - TwinkleThough not the subunit I would have prefered(JeTiSeo!), you really can’t complain about what they did.  This year SNSD took three of their best singers in their first official subunit group and released an album that actually met my own lofty expectations when I first heard that it was announced.  The first time I listened to it, I wasn’t really feeling it too much, but after a while, it made it’s way onto my playlist with regularity.  I like SNSD, but I loved being able to focus only on the voices of 3 of their best vocals.  Tiffany and Seohyun aren’t at Taeyeon’s level, but they could easily be main vocal in any other group.  Listen to it here

8. Son Dambi – Tears are Falling
Son Dambi - Dripping Tears
Though she wasn’t really active when I started following Kpop, I’ve heard her hits and liked them all.  As such, her comeback after 2 years was one that I really looked forward to.  It’s not a very challenging song to sing, and I won’t argue she’s the greatest singer, but I still very much enjoy listening to this song.  In fact, I like the whole album.  It’s not going to win any awards, nor has it done particularly well on music charts, but it’s definitely one of my favorite of the year.  Listen to it here


7. SISTAR – Loving U
SISTAR - Loving UThis is honestly the first SISTAR song I’ve really liked and it was a pleasure to see them preform it live at the SBS Super Concert in Irvine.  It was a pretty big change from their last few songs and while I don’t think this is the sound they should be pursuing, it was a nice change of pace.  Hyorin’s vocals take center stage as always, but the other members really showed how much they’ve improved since debut.  With the success of this song and “Alone”, which was released earlier this year, they really had a huge breakout and are on their way to becoming one of the more popular groups in Korea.  Listen to it here

6. Big Bang – Blue
Big Bang - Still Alive
Like SISTAR, I wasn’t really a huge fan of Big Bang’s prior to this year.  However, “Blue” definitely changed my mind a little about them.  I don’t really care for the rest of the album, but this ballad track really hit the mark for me.  It gave me a good look at the vocal abilities of each members and I came out realizing maybe they’re not as overrated as I had initially thought.  Listen to it here



5. Kim Jong Kook – Men Are All Like That
Kim Jong Kook - Journey HomeAdmittedly, I originally became a fan of the Commander, as he is called on Running Man, from his appearances on Family Outing.  However, I enjoy listening to his solo songs as well as his songs while he was part of Turbo.  To say this was the album I looked forward to the most would not be an understatement.  Okay, fine, maybe top 2, but still.  2012 was an amazing year for ballads and this ranks up there with the best of them.  In fact, his album is my favorite album of the year.  Usually I tend to pick and chose songs from albums, but I could legitimately have the entire on my playlist and be okay with it.  Listen to it here

4. T-ara – Day by Day
T-ara - Day by Day Album CoverI’ll admit that part of my fondness for this song is the fact that it was their last song before Hwagate, but most of it is because I just like the song.  I liked the focus they gave Areum in her first song with the group, even if I was confused at why she had to be included in the first place.  As much as I would like to believe otherwise, this is probably the last real hit song that T-ara will release.  The bullying rumors aren’t likely to go away for a while, at which point the group will cease to be relevant.  It’s a shame too as they seemed to be on the brink of hitting that upper echelon of girl groups.  Listen to it here

3. NS Yoon G – I Got You
NS Yoon G - SkinshipLike Big Bang and SISTAR, I hadn’t listened to a lot of NS Yoon G before this year.  That’s why I was a little surprised at how much I liked this song right from the beginning.  I’d heard her previous releases, but none really caught my attention until she released her Skinship mini-album.  The other songs on it pretty good too, but the title track is definitely the highlight.  Her follow song “If You Love Me” also ranks among my favorites of the year, but “I Got You” earns this spot in the top 10.  Listen to it here

2. Se7en – When I Can’t Sing

Se7en - Second Mini AlbumLike half this list already, an artist that I didn’t really listen to before this year makes the top 10.  Se7en’s comeback after a year and a half did well in the weekly music shows, winning once on M! Countdown and twice on Inkigayo, and even achieved an “all-kill” on the daily song charts.  Admittedly, Dream High 2 was actually part of the reason why I listened to this song in the first place, which is probably the only good thing that came out of that drama.  Listen to it here


1. Ailee – Evening Sky
Ailee - InvitationI guess there was one other good thing that came out of Dream High 2.  It gave me my first look at a rookie artist named Ailee.  I loved her voice when she sang on the drama and was a fan of her debut single “Heaven”.  Moreso than even Kim Jong Kook’s album, Ailee’s first mini-album was one that I could not wait to get.  The title song “I Will Show You” has grown on me alot compared to when I first heard it, but now as it was back then, “Evening Sky” is exactly the type of song that I wanted from her.  I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve listened to this song and it’s hands down my song of the year.  Listen to it here

Honorable Mentions: Secret – Talk That, f(x) – Electric Shock, K.Will – I Need You, T-ara – Lovey Dovey, NS Yoon G – If You Love Me, Lee Seung Gi – Return


3 responses to “[Best of the Best] Top 10 songs of 2012

  1. Nongya Karunaporn April 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    T-ara T-ara T-ara T-ara T-ara

  2. Anonymous April 29, 2013 at 8:03 am


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