After taking a couple of quick detours to previous years, I’m finally back on track and ready to unveil my favorite songs of 2020! I mentioned in my last post that I was much more focused on my favorite groups in 2019, and I didn’t do much exploring. This year, I did a complete 180. Because of COVID-19, I was basically forced to spend all my time at work or at home. That meant I had a LOT more free time to listen to and K-pop (and music in general). And I soon discovered that my habit of listening to the same song/artist every day caused me to get bored REALLY quickly. So, I soon returned to my ways of checking out most of the releases that came my way – and I’m so glad that I did! There was a lot about 2020 that COVID-19 ruined, but we still got a lot of great K-pop songs. My playlist for this year reached 100 songs, so I’m at peak multifan again. But I don’t have the time or energy to write about every single one, so I’m just going to cram half of them into one post.
DISCLAIMER: This list is 100% based on my own opinions and feelings, and is not a ranking of what I objectively think are the best songs of 2020. The rankings are based on things like how much I like the song/choreography/music video/styling, how many times I listened to the song, how long I was into the comeback/debut, how many related videos I watched, etc.
Since I’m briefly summarizing the songs in sets of 10 for this post, I thought embedding each and every video would make it WAY too long. So if you want to watch a music video, just click on the song title.
Every year, I keep telling myself that I’m not going to start following any rookies. I have to start being selective somewhere, and newly debuted groups
who are like a decade younger than me seem like a good place to start. This held mostly true in 2020, as only three debut songs made it into my Top 50. But I still want to take the time to acknowledge some debut songs that piqued my interest. Because there are a lot of good rookies out there!
100. “Tonight,” BLACKSWAN
99. “Tag Me (@ Me),” Weeekly
98. “Nun Nu Nan Na,” cignature
97. “Nostalgia,” Drippin
96. “Siren,” P1Harmony
95. “Who Dis?” Secret Number
94. “Magnolia,” TOO
93. “So Bad,” STAYC
92. “Twilight,” WEi
91. “Given-Taken,” ENHYPEN
STAYC (above) and ENHYPEN (below)
I’ve always had a bit of a short attention span when it comes to K-pop, but it seems like that got worse this year. Half of these songs are ones I listened to way too often, so much so that I feel like I don’t need to hear them again for a very long time. The other half are from after I learned my lesson – so I liked them, but I didn’t spend a whole lot of attention on them (maybe about a week or so.) Many of the groups here also have another song that I ultimately liked a lot more and put in my Top 50 list, so we’ll see them pop up later. And yes, LOONA is here twice because I have very similar feelings about both of their 2020 releases.
SuperM (above) and Dreamcatcher (below)
This next set of ten is fairly similar in that they’re all songs that I listened to for a couple of weeks. Some of them are from that have been in my Top 50 in previous years; I put them here because I liked the song fine, but not as much as some of their other ones. Some of them are from groups that I want to get into, but haven’t found a song of theirs that I truly loved yet. And many of them are also pretty underrated artists that I think deserve more recognition. So although I didn’t necessarily love these 2020 comebacks, I liked them and wanted to acknowledge them.
80. “Salute,” AB6IX
79. “Feel Good (Secret Code),” fromis_9
78. “Jungle,” CIX
77. “Pump It Up,” Golden Child
76. “Bad Idea,” ASTRO Moonbin & Sanha
75. “Bird,” Kim Namjoo (Apink)
74. “Ready or Not,” Momoland
73. “Obliviate,” Lovelyz
72. “Answer,” ATEEZ
71. “Sukhumvit Swimming,” ONF
Lovelyz (above) and ONF (below)
These are mostly songs by high profile artists that were really popular – generally with the Korean public, but sometimes also with the international community. As usual, I generally listened to them so much that I lost interest. Or, I liked them but didn’t love them. In any case, they’re all objectively good songs and I can see why they were so beloved.
SEVENTEEN (above) and Apink (below)
I really enjoyed these songs, and I listened to each one a whole bunch of times (as opposed to the 1-3 weeks for all the songs that I listed before). They were super close to making it into my Top 50 – I think all of them made it in my earlier drafts at least once. However, I ultimately put them in my “special mentions” category because all of these artists had at least one other 2020 song that I liked more. (YooA and Baekhyun are kind of the exceptions, but I do have Oh My Girl and SuperM in my Top 50.)
60. “From Home,” NCT U
59. “COOL,” Weki Meki
58. “Not By the Moon,” GOT7
57. “Panorama,” IZ*ONE
56. “I Love You,” TREASURE
55. “Bon Voyage,” YooA (Oh My Girl)
54. “Back Door,” Stray Kids
53. “MAGO,” GFriend
52. “Dynamite,” BTS
51. “Candy,” Baekhyun (EXO)
GFriend (above) and BTS (below)
You might be wondering why “Dynamite” didn’t make my Top 50, since it’s such a massively popular song and everyone loves it. To tell the truth, it was a really close call and I definitely thought about it a lot. Unfortunately, I’ve heard it so many times that any enjoyment I once had has been completely eliminated. I stopped voluntarily listening to it like a month ago in order to preserve my good feelings for it, and I STILL hear it at least twice a day out and about. So because this list is based on my own feelings, putting it in the “special mentions” category. I recognize “Dynamite” a good song and that it has a lot of accomplishments, but I can’t put it higher because I’m honestly so tired of it.
Stay tuned for the Top 50!
SOURCES: YouTube, Belift Lab (ENHYPEN), Big Hit Entertainment (BTS, Agust D/Suga and TXT), Blockberry Creative (LOONA), Brand New Music (AB6IX), C9 Entertainment (CIX and cignature), Cube Entertainment ((G)I-DLE), Danal Entertainment (BLACKSWAN), DSP Media (KARD), Fantagio Entertainment (ASTRO, ASTRO Moonbin & Sanha, and Weki Meki), FNC Entertainment (P1Harmony), High Up Entertainment (STAYC), JYP Entertainment (GOT7 and Stray Kids), Kakao M Entertainment (IU), KOZ Entertainment (ZICO), KQ Entertainment (ATEEZ), MLD Entertainment (Momoland), n.CH Entertainment (TOO), Off the Record Entertainment (IZ*ONE), OUI Entertainment (WEi), Play M Entertainment (Apink, Kim Namjoo, Weeekly), Pledis Entertainment (SEVENTEEN), RBW Entertainment (MAMAMOO), SM Entertainment (Taeyeon, Kai, NCT U, and SuperM), Source Music (GFriend), Starship Entertainment (CRAVITY), Vine Entertainment (Secret Number), WM Entertainment (YooA and ONF), Woollim Entertainment (Golden Child, Lovelyz, and Drippin), and YG Entertainment (TREASURE)
“Tag Me (@ Me),” “Who Dis?” “eight,” and “Any Song” distributed by 1theK.
“Nun Nu Nan Na,” “Fiesta,” “Answer,” and “Panorama” distributed by Stone Music Entertainment.
“Given-Taken,” “ON,” “Blue Hour,” “HOME;RUN,” “Daechwita,” “MAGO,” and “Dynamite” distributed by Big Hit Labels.
The idols in the featured image are:
*Moonbyul / MAMAMOO / RBW Entertainment
*Jeonghan / SEVENTEEN / Pledis Entertainment, Big Hit Labels
*Eunbi / IZ*ONE / Off the Record Entertainment
*Yeonjun / TXT / Big Hit Entertainment
*Naeun / Apink / Play M Entertainment
*Jimin / BTS / Big Hit Entertainment