So for the first time I’m going to implement a rather short top 10 of just K-pop songs (and one C-pop tune). But it’ll just be that since I rather have limited views on this since I’m starting to fully implement this lol so bear with me on this rather shallow list hahaha! I also want to show the 10 American songs that I’ve fallen for this year as well ^_^
The 5 that didn’t make the cut!
So the five that missed the list might not be top 10 but they are all still pretty damn good. KARA’s RIDER was pretty different from what we got and that’s an aggressive little number. Same can be said about 4minute’s Geoura Geoura but it’s more of a dance number but that’s pretty cool as well. I guess no one really expected me to listen to BEAST but their song, FICTION was pretty damn good though not good enough but it’s rare for me to fully love a boyband song haha. Now the reason that 2NE1′s Neaga Jeil Jal Naga is so low on the list is because I don’t find the Korean version as enticing or interesting as the Japanese version, but I definitely know there’s people that think the opposite about that. It was hard not to put this on the top 10 but BEG’s Cleansing Cream was definitely the ballad of the year, it helped also that they had a pretty hard-hitting PV…such a sad story of jealousy, but it’s a pretty song though they do butcher saying the song’s title XD…
So here’s the top 10!!!!
10. T-ara – Cry Cry (Black Eyes)
Starting the list off is Cry Cry by T-ara. I’m not sure why I fell for it but there’s something emotional underneath the acoustic/latin flare of the song which is a nice change. Even when the beats jump in, the song keeps at it and just sounds great all around. I almost chose the ballad version over the original but this stood out a little more for me.
9. Kahi – Come Back, You Bad Person (Dorowa Nappeun Neo)
One of the ladies from AFTERSCHOOL decided to release a solo mini and with Dorowa Nappeun Neo, she surprised me with the promotional track which combines a beautiful piano melody with a pretty gritty synth lol. I don’t know why but Kahi sounds great with this song and that’s why it stuck out for me and took the #9 spot.
8. U-KISS – NEVERLAND (Neverland)
I guess have the two members leave and regain two new ones gave them a fresh outlook on their career and they’ve been having an amazing year of songs not gonna lie. NEVERLAND is pretty strong and has a lot of nice hooks and punches. Though there’s a lot of aut0-tune, the rest of the song manages to be awesome even after lol.
7. Tohoshinki – Wae (Keep Your Head Down) (Keep Your Head Down)
I can’t believe I forgot Wae was released in the first two weeks of January! Good thing because for being the duo’s first song since the split between HoMin and JYJ, this was a good start though to me the song is a bit of a brash punch at JYJ. At least I can openly say that Korean >>>>Japanese version. Either way, the song is just hardcore and pretty epic and showed the fans that they can barrel on as a duo!
6. 4minute – You know (Heart to Heart)
We all know 4minute is known for their club-bangers and heavy tunes so when it came to You know, it was a surprise for me because they took this song into more of a normal dance track but keeping the K-pop tones alive. It’s poppy but a good kind at that and there was quite a bit of synths and the amound of english lines really helped out. It’s my favorite thing they’ve released in 2011.
5. Elva Hsiao – I’m Ready (I’m Ready)
As the only C-pop song on the list it really shows that I don’t listen to much of that to begin with (the only other ones would be Da Mouth and dance flow). Even though it’s the simplest sounding and basic song on this list, there’s just something really catchy about the song and her vocals really echo well in this club banger. Just a pretty fun tune to listen to!
4. Girls’ Generation – TRICK (The Boys)
While I was mostly disappointed with SNSD’s album, there was a couple of tracks that stood out, the most being TRICK which was sadly not used to promote the album…(to be honest, it would’ve done so much better than “The Boys” ever would). Then again this song has a lot epicness and the whole card/circus theme of the song gave a great mindset to be honest.
3. KARA - STEP (STEP)
It was hard finding ground with KARA’s Japanese singles since only “GO GO Summer!” was the only real great track. However back in their native homeland they came back and pretty strongly with the promotional song, STEP. It’s got a lot of attitude and spunk to make it better than it’s predecessors. It’s fun to dance to and has great vocals from them all!
2. 2NE1 – HATE YOU (2NE1 2nd Mini Album)
Funny enough I really enjoyed the Korean version of HATE YOU more than the Korean version of “Naega Jeil Jal Naga”. It’s a venomous kind of hate song and I love it for it for sure. Then again, it was kind of strange putting the song with the animated video it had. Just a song that I needed earlier in the year before our number one was released!
1. Brown Eyed Girls – Sixth Sense (Sixth Sense)
If there was a song that was badass from the beginning to the end, it had to be BEG’s Sixth Sense. I mean from the march-like beat, the powerful vocals from all three singers and the rapping from Miryo and no auto-tune…you get this song pretty quickly. It’s sexy, angry, and just malicious as a package but it’s what made it so damn perfect this year! LOVING THIS SONG SO MUCH!!!
The 5 American songs that almost made it!
So for the five that just missed the cut it was pretty difficult to place these five to be honest. Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé was pretty out of nowhere with this angsty womanly anthem of a song and it just kind of brought her something new to use. 2011 saw the rise of dubstep and Skrillex was definitely the most well-known of the style when it began to rise and it came to a head with First of the Year (Equinox) but for me it was the song’s context with the MV that caught my attention. The again the song isn’t for everyone because it’s a dubstep instrumental for the most part and can send headaches for others. It also seem that The Cataracs had a pretty good year as well and I must say Dev’s In the Dark might not have the longevity that “Bass Down Low” did, but it’s sassy and slick and having saxophone being the melodic point is great to see! Plus, it’s just that catchy! Brit’s Criminal might have been released in the later half of 2011 but this is actually a good song from her! Plus, it’s fun to hear Britney sing about falling for the bad guy…interesting song topic eh? Judas is pretty much the top of this list of the five songs because it’s got the whole “Bad Romance” formula downpat. Even though she might’ve not had her year this year, she’s still releasing great stuff (if not a little too preachy at times).
And now the big 10!
10. 30 Seconds to Mars – Hurricane (This Is War)
Starting with number 10, Hurricane was pretty sweet of a song from the band I must say! After their previous album, I was getting used to them releasing story-laced albums and Hurricane was pretty much a peak for them. I just love the epic chorus for this one and the video was pretty scandalous I must say…but how raw this song was was just jaw-dropping for me this year ^_^…BTW, don’t even try listening to Hurricane 2.0…..it sucks.
9. Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend (Body Talk)
It’s been a while since America really heard Robyn last (and that was when she was doing bubblegum pop). She reentered the states ears with a new sound that she’s been under a lot in the 2000′s. I do like how the song sounds like Robyn is giving a tip to a guy which is kind of an unusual viewpoint for a song but given the song’s electroic feel makes this is a catchy tune.
8. Britney Spears – Hold It Against Me (Femme Fatale)
I’m so happy she released a song like this because while her last two albums “Blackout” and “Circus” were great, we needed something with a little more oomph and the first single from Femme Fatale was a great choice. Plus everyone love’s Brit’s club bangers and this is definitely one of those! The only weird thing I can muster from it was the oddly placed dubstep bridge, but otherwise the final run through the chorus was AMAZING!!!!
7. David Guetta feat. Usher – Without You (Nothing But the Beat)
I never thought Usher would ever work with David Guetta of all people but seeing how ridiculously popular David is…it was inevitable. Luckily the collaborative effort from the two is damn catchy and Usher’s voice really caught my attention but when the musical-fronted bridge happens…it’s just awesome house/dance music.
6. Foster The People – Helena Beat (Torches)
While everyone is still whoring out “Pumped Up Kicks” like it’s wildfire, I’m definitely more for Helena Beat since it had a cooler MV and was a bit more fun to listen to altogether (since the previously mentioned track has dark lyrics). So this is kind of a lil happier. Love this song!
5. Lady Gaga – Born This Way (Born This Way)
I think everyone and their mom was awaiting Gaga’s new song ever since she sang that snippet at the VMAs. Thank god this came out since we really needed a song with a message like Born This Way’s had. Now, we’ve all heard the Madonna ties and plagerism accounts but c’mon it might sound similar but it’s got its own identity. Still, this song is quite powerful and the arrangement is great too ^_^
4. LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It (Sorry for Party Rocking)
Once again, this is a case of they had a MUCH MORE popular song in the states, but this is catching up pretty quickly. It has that same party vibe, it’s just that it calls for being sexy which it does very well. I will say that I love the bridge in “Party Rock Anthem” a lil more than this, but this has swagger and just an epic buildup. Then again that video….LULZY!!!
3. Breathe Carolina – Blackout (Hell Is What You Make It)
If there was a whole lot of dance tracks that really stood out this year, I’d say Blackout was the biggest surprise since I’ve never heard of Breathe Caroline prior to this. Actually when I first heard this I kind of thought it was The Ready Set that did this since its up in their alley. Epic tune here and a surprising favorite of mines.
2. Katy Perry – E.T. (Teenage Dream)
I think everyone didn’t expect Katy to pull off E.T. in the way she did. I mean it’s so radically different than to anything else she’s done but it was kind of cool and edgy for her and I like that about Katy. I mean lyrically is pretty wicked kind of mixing love and future-techy stuff which is pretty genius if you ask me. Also, the version without Kanye is the MUCH MUCH preferred version since he makes the song odd and too dirty for me.
1. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass (Pink Friday)
It’s funny because I’m not at all a big fan of rap in anyway, but this gal Nicki Minaj has basically made me a fan and while there’s other songs she’s totally rocked it in this year, Super Bass was at the top. It mixed her awesome rap with this kind of dance/R&B mix that just kicked so much ass. Plus the chorus and slower parts are just right. No wonder, this is the best American song this year IMO.
Next time (which might be a lil while) is the best and worst A-sides of the year in Japan yo!!!!