From BTS to TWICE, SEVENTEEN to TXT, Baekhyun to IU - 25 Korean songs that defined 2021

The year 2021 has given us multitudes of songs to groove to. Be it love, heartache or celebration of life, 2021 K-Pop, K-R&B, Korean Hip-Hop songs have it all. All it takes is one more spin of the track for the memories to flood back in – from the first moment you heard the song, to the way it made you feel. Here's our pick of 25 Korean songs that we found memorable. It has been a year since these hits were released, yet it all feels like yesterday, doesn't it? (Note: The songs listed here are in alphabetical order of the artist's name. This is list is not a ranking). aespa – NEXT LEVEL SM Entertainment's new girl group aespa have cast their dazzling spell since their debut song ‘Black Mamba’. The quartet has displayed stellar execution of vocals and dance, and their song ‘Next Level’, is a testament to that claim. The song is rife with electro-synth beats. The vocals and the rap verses overlap with a creative hook as the group moves on to sing a battle cry-like tune. AKMU FT. IU – NAKKA Brother-sister duo AKMU, Lee Chan Hyuk and Lee Su Hyun, showed their musical prowess and this time, in collaboration with legendary IU. Titled ‘Nakka’, the duo earned their seventh No. 1 Korean single. Dropping the whimsical music video, the song has strong bassline and synths with hopeful message and hopes for inner freedom. ATEEZ – DÉJÀ VU ATEEZ brought their seductive charm with ‘Deja Vu'. The song flows smoothly from verse to verse, the momentary drop just before the chorus attunes the listener for the upcoming musical treat. The alternative beats confluence with semi-tropical music wrap the song in a dazzling hamper.  It once again showed that ATEEZ continue to leap of faith with their sound with EP at a time. BAEKHYUN – BAMBI   EXO member Baekhyun's unleashed his sensuous and charming side right before his enlistment. Boy, oh boy! This album was everything everyone expected and not expected it to be – so poetic, sonically so appealing. The jazz inspired track ‘Bambi’ is full of seduction and admiration. The use of minimal instruments does the trick for Bambi. Baekhyun's adlibs and falsettos accentuate the mood even further. BTS – BUTTER Global pop titans BTS delivered some memorable tracks in 2021. Their second English language track ‘Butter’, went onto break records on charts especially HOT 100 on Billboard, is a fun song that echoes with the bass retro beats. The song calls for dance and celebration from the moment it begins. ‘Butter’ promised a great time, and it delivered! The lyrics are sassy and fun, and the execution of the song is smooth just like butter! CIX – CINEMA   CIX's ‘Cinema’ is no short of a cinematic experience. The echo-like verses, bass beats, and the dance tunes create a memorable experience for the listeners. The song is like a slice of life movie which is full of hope and happiness. DPR IAN, DPR LIVE and CL – NO BLUEBERRIES Team DPR is known for their alternative and indie music. Their track ‘No Blueberries’ has goth vibe with music so captivating that it commands the listeners’ attention. The bass heavy tunes paired with piano cast a haunting charm in the track. The lyrics are eccentric just like the music. DPR Ian, DPR Live and CL came together for this track and presented a delightful treat for the ears! ENHYPEN – DRUNK-DAZED Rookie group ENHYPEN's tracks have become fan favourites in the K-Pop community. Their track ‘Drunk-Dazed’ is a high energy song. The song is thrust in a high octane moment with the chorus. The semi-rock elements in the track are highlighted further with the bass beats in the background. It is that hypnotic song one should listen to when one wants to nonstop dance their hearts. The slight drop towards the end only prepares the listeners for a stunning end. EPIK HIGH – ROSARIO (Ft. CL and ZICO) EPIK HIGH [Tablo, DJ Tukutz and Mithra Jin] delivered an album which was high on inspirations drawn from personal life. Their track ‘Rosario’ is a classic Epik High track with rap verses and lazy hazy musical vibes. CL and Zico bring in their charm to the song with their respective verses. “I am a legend and I’m here to stay” – and yes, they absolutely are. The veteran legends in the industry brought the two of the star collaborators on their title song and honestly, it is easily one of the most compelling tracks of 2021. HOSHI – SPIDER SEVENTEEN member HOSHI's first mixtape trapped the fans in his artistry in vibrant shades. The title track ‘Spider’ is an enchanting number bringing a fierce yet sensuous side of Hoshi. The song is hauntingly beautiful track. The incorporation of electronic guitar riffs and jazzy beats create a semi-gothic feel in the song. IU – LILAC IU is dubbed as one of the most melodious songstress of the decade. The reputation holds strong as the honey-singer belts fantastical tunes of ‘Lilac.’ She has proven that she can mix the fantasy with reality and present a great picture which is pleasing to the eyes as well as the ears. The song features ret

From BTS to TWICE, SEVENTEEN to TXT, Baekhyun to IU - 25 Korean songs that defined 2021
The year 2021 has given us multitudes of songs to groove to. Be it love, heartache or celebration of life, 2021 K-Pop, K-R&B, Korean Hip-Hop songs have it all. All it takes is one more spin of the track for the memories to flood back in – from the first moment you heard the song, to the way it made you feel. Here's our pick of 25 Korean songs that we found memorable. It has been a year since these hits were released, yet it all feels like yesterday, doesn't it? (Note: The songs listed here are in alphabetical order of the artist's name. This is list is not a ranking). aespa – NEXT LEVEL SM Entertainment's new girl group aespa have cast their dazzling spell since their debut song ‘Black Mamba’. The quartet has displayed stellar execution of vocals and dance, and their song ‘Next Level’, is a testament to that claim. The song is rife with electro-synth beats. The vocals and the rap verses overlap with a creative hook as the group moves on to sing a battle cry-like tune. AKMU FT. IU – NAKKA Brother-sister duo AKMU, Lee Chan Hyuk and Lee Su Hyun, showed their musical prowess and this time, in collaboration with legendary IU. Titled ‘Nakka’, the duo earned their seventh No. 1 Korean single. Dropping the whimsical music video, the song has strong bassline and synths with hopeful message and hopes for inner freedom. ATEEZ – DÉJÀ VU ATEEZ brought their seductive charm with ‘Deja Vu'. The song flows smoothly from verse to verse, the momentary drop just before the chorus attunes the listener for the upcoming musical treat. The alternative beats confluence with semi-tropical music wrap the song in a dazzling hamper.  It once again showed that ATEEZ continue to leap of faith with their sound with EP at a time. BAEKHYUN – BAMBI   EXO member Baekhyun's unleashed his sensuous and charming side right before his enlistment. Boy, oh boy! This album was everything everyone expected and not expected it to be – so poetic, sonically so appealing. The jazz inspired track ‘Bambi’ is full of seduction and admiration. The use of minimal instruments does the trick for Bambi. Baekhyun's adlibs and falsettos accentuate the mood even further. BTS – BUTTER Global pop titans BTS delivered some memorable tracks in 2021. Their second English language track ‘Butter’, went onto break records on charts especially HOT 100 on Billboard, is a fun song that echoes with the bass retro beats. The song calls for dance and celebration from the moment it begins. ‘Butter’ promised a great time, and it delivered! The lyrics are sassy and fun, and the execution of the song is smooth just like butter! CIX – CINEMA   CIX's ‘Cinema’ is no short of a cinematic experience. The echo-like verses, bass beats, and the dance tunes create a memorable experience for the listeners. The song is like a slice of life movie which is full of hope and happiness. DPR IAN, DPR LIVE and CL – NO BLUEBERRIES Team DPR is known for their alternative and indie music. Their track ‘No Blueberries’ has goth vibe with music so captivating that it commands the listeners’ attention. The bass heavy tunes paired with piano cast a haunting charm in the track. The lyrics are eccentric just like the music. DPR Ian, DPR Live and CL came together for this track and presented a delightful treat for the ears! ENHYPEN – DRUNK-DAZED Rookie group ENHYPEN's tracks have become fan favourites in the K-Pop community. Their track ‘Drunk-Dazed’ is a high energy song. The song is thrust in a high octane moment with the chorus. The semi-rock elements in the track are highlighted further with the bass beats in the background. It is that hypnotic song one should listen to when one wants to nonstop dance their hearts. The slight drop towards the end only prepares the listeners for a stunning end. EPIK HIGH – ROSARIO (Ft. CL and ZICO) EPIK HIGH [Tablo, DJ Tukutz and Mithra Jin] delivered an album which was high on inspirations drawn from personal life. Their track ‘Rosario’ is a classic Epik High track with rap verses and lazy hazy musical vibes. CL and Zico bring in their charm to the song with their respective verses. “I am a legend and I’m here to stay” – and yes, they absolutely are. The veteran legends in the industry brought the two of the star collaborators on their title song and honestly, it is easily one of the most compelling tracks of 2021. HOSHI – SPIDER SEVENTEEN member HOSHI's first mixtape trapped the fans in his artistry in vibrant shades. The title track ‘Spider’ is an enchanting number bringing a fierce yet sensuous side of Hoshi. The song is hauntingly beautiful track. The incorporation of electronic guitar riffs and jazzy beats create a semi-gothic feel in the song. IU – LILAC IU is dubbed as one of the most melodious songstress of the decade. The reputation holds strong as the honey-singer belts fantastical tunes of ‘Lilac.’ She has proven that she can mix the fantasy with reality and present a great picture which is pleasing to the eyes as well as the ears. The song features retro tunes akin to the 80s, with spatial tunes in the chorus. JACKSON WANG – LMLY ‘Leave Me Loving You’ aka LMLY is a classic 90s inspired track. Jackson Wang, well-known soloist and musician in group GOT7, sings in rapid succession in tune with the atmospheric retro tunes. The song is a song about a cry of love, to save one from an impending heartbreak. The lyrics are filled with different references that further enrich the overall experience in listening to LMLY. The Hong-Kong style old school love story depiction in the nostalgia-filled music video brought Jackson’s new side to spotlight. KEY – BAD LOVE SHINee KEY's ‘Bad Love’ is a track with futuristic beats. Making his solo comeback first time after completing his military service, he came back and he conquered. The spatial tunes, paired with disco tunes make the song perfect for a disco playlist. ‘Bad Love’ is a tale of love and heartbreak. Key's high notes towards the end of the song are noteworthy. MONSTA X – GAMBLER Monsta X gambled with concept this time as they don hats of the gamblers in this song. ‘Gambler’ is heavy bass rhythm and electric guitar based song. The thrill is the ad-libs as the members shine through this song and deliver a harmonic juxtaposition of  rap and vocals, as they match to the tunes of ‘Gambler’. NCT DREAM – HOT SAUCE NCT Dream's comeback this was definitely one of the most highly anticipated ones. ‘Hot Sauce’ is a classic NCT Dream track, with a medley of vocals and a put of the box chorus. The Korean title '맛' which translates to taste/flavour implies a strong, hot, and spicy flavour of the group. The song sports rap and vocals verses sung to the tunes of rapidly rising music. SEVENTEEN – ROCK WITH YOU SEVENTEEN's latest title ‘Rock With You’ from Attaca album is a pop dance track through and through. Composed and penned by SEVENTEEN member Woozi, and resident producer BUMZU along with others, the song’s overarching theme is the desire to be always in love with the person you love, and the passion behind it.The song features several immersive elements, from Joshua’s opening lines to S.Coup's ASMR lines and even the momentary beat drop just before the chorus. The song is high on energy from start to the end. ‘Rock With You’ is like a spectacular display of fireworks that one does not want to end! SF9 – TEAR DROP SF9's ‘Tear Drop’ is like a heartbreak ballad running high on hip bass beats. The vocalisation just before the catchphrase 'Tear Drop' is an instant earworm. The squiggly jazzy beats sprinkled in between verses accentuate the emotions in the lyrics. The signature steps truly exude their sensuous side of the group and this was easily one of their best title tracks, yet! SHINee – DON’T CALL ME 2021 started with a delight for K-Pop fans, and SHAWOLs more so as their favourite group made a comeback. ‘Don't Call Me’ is a song in classic SHINee fashion, where the bridge falls in a different shade than the chorus, but put them together and they create a wonderful melody. The trap beats infused with pop and hip-hop beats make the song a delight indeed. STAY C – ASAP STAY C made a promising debut this year. The girl group rose to the favourite charts immediately. Their track ‘ASAP’ is a fun song and sports strains of bubblegum pop with semi hip-hop beats. The song does accentuate the members’ capabilities, especially when it comes to vocal harmonies. The music is breezy to listen, despite the presence of hip-hop elements. They are definitely the girl group to watch out for in 2022. STRAY KIDS – THUNDEROUS Stray Kids have always delivered something out of the box and ‘Thunderous’ is no different. Using the modern punk rock music along with the traditional Korean song pansori, the group presents a delectable offering of music and lyrics. The song is no less than a war cry against the naysayers. One of the highlights of the music video is the opening animated credits – a stunning moment each time to watch. There is rap, there are vocals, there is trap, there is hip-hop, and even traditional music! One would think using a mishmash of different elements won't go well together, but Stray Kids are here to prove your wrong! TAEMIN – ADVICE SHINee's youngest member and one of the most loved artist in the industry, Taemin, in his solo career, has delivered stellar hits one after another. ‘Advice’ is no short. The song is heavy with trap beats, and Taemin's breathy, high-pitched vocals match the mood of the lyrics. The song imparts an advice to keep one's nose out of other's business. The constantly flowing in the background cast a gothic charm in the song. Moreover, the artistic music video along with the norm-breaking looks truly makes a special song of 2021. TWICE – THE FEELS TWICE's ‘The Feels’ is their first full-English language track. The song is catchy throughout, and the members bring in their charms to this bubblegum pop song. The retro disco sounds blended with TWICE’s choreography makes it a delight to the ears. The song is an enjoyable treat and it looks like the members had equally great fun singing this track!  TWICE remain true to their selves with their first English track. TOMORROW X TOGETHER – 0X1=LOVESONG (I KNOW I LOVE YOU) (ft. Seori) Tomorrow X Together have come a long way since ‘Crown’ days and with each album, their maturity in music has been top-notch and immaculate. They have never failed to surprise with their music. Their rock-inspired track ‘0X1=LoveSong (I Know I Love You)’ is a powerful track. Singer Seori joins the group in this track and brings her melodious vocals charms in the chorus. TXT deliver a stunningly beautiful romantic track which is high on emotions. Their vocals are in the high register, which are apt for a highly emotive track like this one. There’s no denying that this song will be on every K-pop list as a favourite this year. WEEEKLY – AFTER SCHOOL WEEEKLY clearly had a tremendous year with foot-tapping numbers.  ‘After School’ is one of those songs that was a viral hit on social media upon its release. The chorus was quite memorable, especially due to several dance and vocal recreations. The song is a light foot tapping number with a child-like charm. YUGYEOM – I WANT U AROUND (FT. DeVita) Following his departure from JYP Entertainment, GOT7’s youngest member Yugyeom made his solo debut, moving from the ‘idol’ image to showcase his artistry in more R&B space, something he had already shown through his Soundcloud releases. Upon joining hip-Hop/R&B label AOMG, he dropped his solo album Point Of View: U with two lead tracks and one of compelling ones was, ‘I Want U Around’ with DeVita as featured artist. The slow R&B style song reflects on this sentimental feelings and frustration in love. Yugyeom, Gray, and DeVita worked on the composition and lyrics for the song. With solid 7-track EP and dark vibe music videos, Yugyeom forayed into new space and made a statement. Also Read: From BTS to BLACKPINK’s Lisa, TXT to SEVENTEEN, TWICE to ATEEZ – here are 15 B-sides tracks by Korean artists that were impactful in 2021