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[Best of the Best] Top Songs of 2013

Ailee - Doll House 4minute - Name is 4minute SISTAR - Give it to Me SNSD - I Got a Boy

Another year draws to a close so it’s time for my yearly lists.  I know this blog has been inactive for the most part due to the busy schedules of myself and Thekoreanjjang, but surprisingly we still get a decent amount of hits.  Hitting a million was something that neither of us could have anticipated and I thank everyone who has browsed through this site since it’s inception early last year.  Admittedly, most have come for the few drama recaps I did, but there are still a good number of you who have come and see our various musings on the world of Kpop.  Thank you all again for visiting and happy holidays.

Now onto the list.  2013 was an interesting year musically for me because I found myself drawn more towards groups that I didn’t really listen much to before.  As with last year, many of the songs from the more established artists were for the most part less than impressive.

10. FT Island – Madly
FT Island - The Mood

While I’ve always liked Hong Ki, for whatever reason I’ve never really listened to FT Island all that much.  I liked “Severely” last year, and “Madly” was a very good followup for this year.  Hong Ki’s vocal are top notch as always and the instrumentals complement it very well.  They really didn’t promote this song very long and it didn’t win anything, but it’s easily one of my favorite songs this year. Listen to it here

9. Rainbow – Sunshine
Rainbow - Sunshine
Though they’ve been active since 2009, Rainbow really hasn’t had that breakout hit yet.  With Kara pretty much set to breakup in the following year, DSP better spend some resources on them otherwise they’re in trouble.  “Sunshine” is definitely a step in the right direction.  Sure the English lyrics make absolutely no sense, but it was catchy and caught my attention from the first time I heard it.  Hopefully they can build on this and take the next step in their popularity.  Listen to it here


8. Baek Ah Yeon – A Good Boy
Baek Ah Yeon - A Good Girl

This was an interesting followup to “Sad Story” for the 3rd place finisher of Kpop Star Season 1, and for me a much stronger one.  “Sad Story” was a good song that highlighted her vocals, but I really enjoyed hearing something more upbeat for her.  Especially with her youth, this is more of the type of sound I’d expect to hear from her.  I have nothing against ballads, in fact they’re some of my favorite songs, but this early in her career she doesn’t have to go that route as I feel it would pigeon-hole her into doing them for the rest of her career. Listen to it here

Girl’s Day – Please Tell Me
Girls Day - Please Tell Me
Just like how 2011 was the year of T-ara, I would argue that 2013 was the year of Girl’s Day.  They promoted three songs and seen their popularity rise drastically.  With the visibility they’ve gotten from “Expectation” and “Female President”, it’s actually good that they’re trying to solidify their new-found fan-base.  With “Please Tell Me”, it’s their return to a cuter concept than they had shown in their last two songs and a perfect song for the summer.  Listen to it here


6. Secret – Yoo Hoo
While not my favorite song of theirs by any means, “Yoo Hoo” was still a pretty strong addition to Secret’s discography.  It was their first return to the cute concept of “Shy Boy” that really launched them to their current level of popularity.  It’s a shame Hyosung had her “Ilbe” controversy while they were promoting this otherwise this could’ve been a pretty big hit.  It still did moderately well on charts. but it could’ve easily have gotten them their first win on a music show since “Starlight Moonlight”.  Listen to it here

T-ara N4 – Jeon Won Diary
T-ara N4 - Countryside Life
Subunits are apparently all the rage these days and T-ara decided to get in on the action this year by putting their then 4 most visually versatile members in a group.  Their miss-guided foray into the US aside, I actually really liked this song.  I know I’m in the minority for that, but this song hit all the points I look for from T-ara.  The rap part should’ve been done by Eunjung instead of the SPEED guy, but oh well.  It’s a shame Areum didn’t work out, but given that her leaving meant the return of 6-ara, I’m not too broken up about it.  Listen to it here

4. 2Yoon – 24/7
2Yoon - Harvest Moon
I think the best way to describe this song is Bluegrass meets Kpop.  This really shouldn’t work, but some reason it does for me and became one of my favorite songs of the year.  It was nice to see a 4minute member not named Hyuna get the spotlight for a bit and Gayoon and Jiyoon deserve it as they’ve carried the vocal load for the group ever since the debut.  While I don’t expect this to be their usual sound, the entire album is actually pretty solid so hopefully this sub-unit isn’t just a one-time thing.  Listen to it here

3. Girl’s Day – Expectation
Girls Day - Expectation
As I said earlier, 2013 was a pretty good year for Girl’s Day.  “Expectation” was a surprise to me because I’d never listened to them at all before this year.   Given that this is the third lineup the group has gone with, I’m surprised that they actually stuck through it.  It helps that their two most vocally talented members were the ones that have been with the group from the start.  It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call them a top 5 group for me now and I’m looking forward to their comeback next week.  Listen to it here

2. T-ara – Number 9
T-ara - Again
All hail the return of 6-ara.  I had some pretty high expectations going into this and they were greatly exceeded.  ‘Again’ is one of their strongest albums to date and “Number 9” ranks up there for my favorite T-ara song.  The robotic voice at the beginning could be taken out and Hyomin’s rap was odd to say the least, but still a great song.  Listen to it here

1. Dal Shabet – Be Ambitious
Dal Shabet - Be Ambitious
It was very tough picking out my favorite song between the top two, but in the end I gave the edge to my most listened to song of 2013 according to my Google Play list.  Sure the lyrics and dance were controversial in a conservative Korea, but I loved this song for its sound.  It grabbed me from the absolute first time I heard it and I still listen to it probably at least once a week now.  I’m hoping that their next comeback is at least as successful so that they can help fill the void of Kara and Wonder Girls leaving the music scene.  Listen to it here

Honorable Mentions: APink – No No No,  Ailee – U & I, Song Ji Eun – False Hope, Kim Tae Woo – Cosmic Girl, Girls Day – Female President

Bonus Scenes: The Runningman cast and the best opening ever


One response to “[Best of the Best] Top Songs of 2013

  1. tiakia67 June 18, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    This has to be one of the best blogs for K-pop my friend and I have seen! You certainly deserve the followers. We would be honored if you would check out our blog at kulturalties.wordpress.com. Please tell us what you think, criticism is welcome 🙂

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