It’s hard to believe another year has passed and it’s 2015 already, and yet here we are. I still wish I had more time to blog, but sadly real life responsibilities prevent me from doing so. Obviously since we haven’t been active, we can’t sustain our view rate of previous years, but we’re still getting more than either thekoreanjjang or I expected when we started this in 2011. Thank all of you once again for visiting the site and I hope everyone has a prosperous 2015.
Unlike last year where most of the songs I liked were from new artists to me, this year I found myself falling back to my old favorites. I also decided to change the rules and just allow any song on the album rather than the main track. Most of the songs on this list ended up being the main track anyway, but it opened up the field to a couple gems that wouldn’t have been listed otherwise.
10. TaetiSeo – Adrenaline
While this album to me wasn’t as good as Twinkle, it was still much better than the last album they’ll release as a full 9-membered SNSD. I didn’t care much for the main song “Holler”, but this song stood out to me as the gem of the entire album. It ranks up there with the best songs of Twinkle and is the type of song I’ve been wanting from SNSD in general. With Sica gone too, Fany and Seobaby will need to step up their game to fill the vocal void. I’ve said in the past that SNSD’s vocal line is as good as any in the industry, but the others have a ways to go before they can match what Sica brought.
9. AoA – Like a Cat
I’d listened to AoA’s previous songs before, but none of them really stuck until this one. It was catchy enough to make it onto my playlist and slowly became one of my favorites of the year the more I listened to it. Looks like I’m not the only one either as their popularity surged this year domestically. Based on the Gaon charts, they placed 5th and 6th respectively on the digital and physical album sales. They’ve come a long way from a group that debuted as with a half band/half dance concept and I’m looking forward to their next release.
8. APink – Luv
Speaking of popularity surges, I would argue the breakout group of the year was APink. They’d been slowly gaining traction starting from last year, but killed it this year with this release and their other one which earned the #3 spot on this list. Whereas all their contemporaries have changed their concepts from album to album, APink has stuck it out with the innocent concept and it’s worked very well for them.
7. Song Ji Eun – 25
She’s still no the dancer that bandmates Hana and Hyosung are, but she gave it her best shot here in her first solo dance track. That being said, she sounded fantastic on this track and showed off her full range. With this release, she’s solidified herself as one of my favorite Kpop vocalists and one who seems to improve with every year.
6. Orange Caramel – Copycat
I’m so glad Pledis decided to make this subunit group because their songs are always far more interesting compared to the ones released by After School. The never win any of the shows, but the three of them always look like they’re having a blast performing. They’re also pretty hilarious in variety also. The fact that I don’t even remember the last After School song while OC released at least 3 this year makes me think Pledis knows where the cash cow is and are promoting them as necessary. I also recommend watching the practice video where you just see them acting like the dorks that they are.
5. Girls Day – Darling
While this isn’t their best song(Expectation), or even their best summer song(Please Tell Me), I really enjoyed this song by what is now my second favorite group. After their breakout last year, I had some pretty high expectations for them this year and they more than met them with not only this song, but “Something” as well. Hopefully Minah makes a recovery soon as they’re scheduled to make an early 2015 comeback and they’re nothing without their beauty of a main vocal.
4. god – Saturday Night
After a 9 year hiatus, 90s group g.o.d. made their return to the music scene. They made an interesting decision to not promote on any of the music shows, but they still did pretty well on the digital charts. Given that, I don’t know which if any you could call their main track, but this one is the best of the bunch by far. To me it ranks up there with their best releases, and it’ll be interesting to see if they release more albums after this year.
3. APink – Mr Chu
I know they cleaned up on the music shows with “LUV”, but my favorite APink song of the year and really overall is this one. If 2013 belonged to Girls Day, there’s no doubt that 2014 belonged to APink. For the longest time, Eunji was the only member whose name I knew, but all 6 members are now easily recognizable. They’re now probably my third favorite group and I have great hopes for them in the coming year.
2. T-ara – Sugar Free
I’m not gonna lie; I did not like this song at first. I loved the chorus, especially Eunjung’s parts, but the rest of it was pretty meh. At first I was thinking that this would be the first T-ara song that I wouldn’t like, but obviously that did not end up being the case as they ended up with second place again this year. After a couple more listens, this quickly became another hit for the group. It’s sad to see that they’re still unable to break out from the aftermath of Hwagate, but they were one of the few major groups that seemed to steer clear of any controversies this year. I would love to see Eunjung and Jiyeon again in dramas, but it looks like that’s not going to be happening any time soon.
1. Secret – I’m in Love
It’s a travesty that this song didn’t win anything on the music shows. As soon as I heard this song, there was no doubt in my mind what would be my favorite song of the year. It would’ve taken a monumental effort by another song to pass this one and not even T-ara’s came close despite a late surge. The concept was spot on as well as all 4 girls looked fantastic. Ji Eun of course carried the load vocally and is making me regret leaving her off this list. I would argue this as my favorite Secret song ever and by all rights should have won them their first music show win since “Starlight Moonlight”
Honorable Mention: Ladies Code – I’m Fine, Thank You
While not a 2014 song, to me this song deserves a spot given the tragedy that happened this year. In a surprising turn of solidarity, netizens conspired together and got this song to #1 on the charts to fulfill former member EunB’s wish. This does nothing to replace the void left by the deaths of Rise and EunB, but I offer this small tribute to them anyway.