Favorites of 2021: March

As usual, March is the time of year when things start to pick up in K-pop and more groups and artists start making their comebacks. While I did have several favorites for both January and February, there was a major difference in the time I spent on my #1 song versus the others. This month, my interests were *slightly* more spread across the board.

*Please remember that all of the following is my own personal opinion!*

NOTE: Songs that were released in the last few days of March – like Baekhyun’s “Bambi” and Cosmic Girls’ “Unnatural” – will be included in April’s version of this post. I usually need at least a few days to definitively decide how I feel about a comeback; so as much as I like those two releases right now, I can’t truly name them as a favorite for March when they were only around for one or two days of the month.

This Month’s Favorites

Favorite SongFavorite DanceFavorite Music Video
#1Rosé (BLACKPINK),
“On the Ground”
Super Junior,
“House Party”
PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña”
#2Super Junior,
“House Party”
PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña”
Super Junior,
“House Party”
#3WayV,
“Kick Back”
WayV,
“Kick Back”
Rosé,
“On the Ground”
#4PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña”
MIRAE,
“Killa”
VERIVERY,
“Get Away”

Favorite Overall Comebacks/Debuts

#1: Super Junior, “House Party”

As expected, Super Junior clinches my top spot for this month. And no, it’s not just because of my fondness for Donghae. While I didn’t quite know how to react to “House Party” at first, its fun and easygoing energy eventually won me over. Also, the “quarantine anthem” aspect of it became VERY relatable to me at the end of the month when I spent a couple days in fear that I had COVID-19. (My coworker came into contact with a confirmed case, but thankfully tested negative.) Plus the number of cases in my city has somehow risen to the worst it’s ever been in this span of a week. So I now feel even more strongly that people here need to listen to this song VERY CAREFULLY. Read my post about it here.

#2: Rosé (BLACKPINK), “On the Ground”

This one was really surprising for me, because I wasn’t expecting to like “On the Ground” as much as I do… but I’ve been listening to it nonstop since it came out. It reminds me a little of the mellow pop songs I used to listen to when I was younger, and it has a really calming and comforting energy – something I very much need right now. I feel like it’s made me understand Rosé a little better as an artist, too. Read my post about it here.

#3: PURPLE KISS, “Ponzoña”

At the beginning of every year, I’m always like, “I’m not picking up any more rookie groups.” And every year without fail, there’s at least one debut that makes me go, “Ooh who’s that?” PURPLE KISS is the first group to get me to do that in 2021. They swept onto the scene with the dark and mysterious “Ponzoña,” and I found everything about it absolutely enchanting. Read my post about it here.

#4: WayV, “Kick Back”

Yes I know they’re not technically K-pop, but I’m putting them here anyway because a) they’re technically a subunit of NCT, which IS K-pop b) they promoted on music shows and c) they have a Korean version of this song. Plus this song is a bop – I can’t stop humming along to the chorus and attempting to imitate the eye-catching key point moves. Read my post about it here.

Albums and B-Sides I Like

As a K-pop listener, it’s fairly uncommon for me to listen to a whole album consistently. I’ll check one out a few times to see if there’s anything I like; but since I listen to lots of different groups, I spend most of my time rotating through different title tracks. I don’t know why, but it’s just how I’ve always operated. That being said, I think it’s important to acknowledge the work that groups and artists put into their albums. So, I want to point out a few albums and B-sides that piqued my interest.

My Top 3 Albums of March

(You can click on the album’s picture to go to a playlist on YouTube.)

#1: Super Junior,
The Renaissance

#2: PURPLE KISS,
Into Violet

#3: WayV,
Kick Back

B-Sides

(You can click the song title to go to the video on YouTube.)

ArtistAlbumB-Sides I Like
ATEEZZero: Fever Pt 2
(6th mini album)
“The Leaders”
CiipherAn Ggulyeo
(1st mini album)
“Fire”
DrippinA Better Tomorrow
(2nd mini album)
“Reach Out Your Hands”
“Fate”
IULilac
(5th full album)
“Flu”
MIRAEKilla
(1st mini album)
“We Are Future”
“Swagger”
PentagonLOVE or TAKE
(11th mini album)
“1+1”
“Baby I Love You”
PURPLE KISSInto Violet
(1st mini album)
“Can We Talk Again”*
“Skip Skip”
Super JuniorThe Renaissance
(10th full album)
“Burn the Floor”**
“Paradox”
“Tell Me Baby”
VERIVERYSeries ‘O’ Round 1: Hall
(2nd single album)
“Numbness”
WayVKick Back
(3rd mini album)
“Action Figure”
WeeeklyWe Play
(3rd mini album)
“Yummy!”
“Uni”

*”Can We Talk Again” is technically a pre-release track that came out with February, but I still included it because I really enjoy it.

**Super Junior technically posted a performance of “Burn the Floor” back in December 2020, but I’m including it because they performed it on music shows and it’s probably my favorite song off the whole album.

Special Mentions

This section is kind of a catch-all for different things I want to bring attention to: artists that I don’t normally listen to, songs that I like but don’t have enough material to write a whole post on, songs that I find interesting but aren’t official comebacks, etc.

Brave Girls, “Rollin'”

I actually listened to this song a lot when it first came out in 2017. I learned the choreography and everything, and I even wrote a small paragraph about in my “Favorites of March” post four years ago. So while it’s MEGA popular here in Korea – my students are even learning the dance in their after school classes – I’m not including it in my official favorites of the month because it’s not new to me and I’m not listening to it that much. But I did want to mention it here because the fact that it’s receiving so much love right now is an INCREDIBLE achievement. Seriously, a song coming back on the charts and winning music show trophies is unheard of. And it’s a bop, so it’s 100% deserved. I’m so proud of these girls and can’t wait to see what’s next for them!

Rain feat. Jackson Wang, “Magnetic”

While I enjoyed Rain’s comeback single “Why Don’t We” with Chungha, the smooth and sexy grooves of “Magnetic” are much more my style. I also really like the concept and the black and white aesthetic of the music video. Rain and Jackson make great collaborators, and I always love hearing Jackson sing.

Jessi, “What Type of X”

Jessi is such a badass. We love a woman who confidently declares, “I’m a different type of beast” as the catchphrase of her song. Adding some rock influence to her typical rap style, “What Type of X” delivers the attitude and edge that I really love in my dance jams. It’s definitely what I’ll be blasting when I’m feeling particularly sassy from now on.

Sorn (CLC), “Run”

I have a soft spot for CLC (WHY ARE THEY SO UNDERRATED), and I was so excited to see Sorn release a solo song. While it’s not necessarily my style, it highlights her sweet voice and has really relatable lyrics. And it’s nice to see her having fun on Jeju Island in the music video – which it seems she mostly filmed herself with the help of her friends, so major props to her!

T1419, “Exit”

I didn’t have enough time to do a full write-up about this song, but I just wanted to give it a shout out because I liked it! It reminds me of some of my favorite boy groups – the aesthetics in the music video make me think of BTS’s “Boy in Luv” and EXO’s “Call Me Baby,” while the melody of the chorus is similar to another boy group song I love but can’t remember right now. (I feel like it’s by GOT7 though?) But there are also lots of intriguing elements to the song that make it unique, like the epic choir singing in the background. I actually missed T1419’s debut earlier this year, but this song piqued my interest.

This Year’s Favorites (So Far)

One of the reasons I created this column was so I could keep track of my favorites in “real time” as I progressed through 2021. This year, I hope to release several new end of year favorites posts in addition to my regular Top 50 (if I can get my act together). So, I hope that writing these down every month will help me better remember exactly how I felt about everything later on.

Favorite SongFavorite DanceFavorite Music Video
#1SHINee,
“Don’t Call Me”
SHINee,
“Don’t Call Me”
Golden Child,
“Burn It”
#2Rosé,
“On the Ground”
Sunmi,
“Tail”
Sunmi,
“Tail”
#3Super Junior,
“House Party”
Super Junior,
“House Party”
PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña”
#4(G)I-DLE,
“HWAA”
PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña”
Super Junior,
“House Party”
#5Sunmi,
“Tail”
WayV,
“Kick Back”
(G)I-DLE,
“HWAA”
#6WayV,
“Kick Back”
Chungha,
“Bicycle”
ONF,
“Beautiful Beautiful”
#7PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña”
Victon,
“What I Said”
Dreamcatcher,
“Odd Eye”
#8Victon,
“What I Said”
MIRAE,
“Killa”
VERIVERY,
“Get Away”
#9Dreamcatcher,
“Odd Eye”
(G)I-DLE,
“HWAA”
Chungha,
“Bicycle”
#10Chungha,
“Bicycle”
Kang Daniel,
“Paranoia”
SHINee,
“Don’t Call Me”

My Most Listened To K-Pop of 2021 (as of March)

These are primarily based on my Apple Music Replay stats. Last month I didn’t have a lot of information, so I could only show the songs I listened to the most. But this time, I can show you albums and artists as well!

Most Listened To SongsMost Listened to ArtistsMost Listened to Albums
#1(G)I-DLE,
“HWAA”
Super JuniorSuper Junior,
The Renaissance
#2Yunho (TVXQ),
“Eeny Meeny”
SHINeeSHINee,
Don’t Call Me
#3Super Junior,
“House Party”
(G)I-DLE(G)I-DLE,
I Burn
#4Rosé,
“On the Ground”
ChunghaChungha,
Querencia
#5SHINee,
“Don’t Call Me”
WayVVicton,
Voice: The Future Is Now
#6Cherry Bullet,
“Love So Sweet”
VictonCRAVITY
Hideout: Be Our Voice – Season 3
#7WayV,
“Kick Back”
DreamcatcherDreamcatcher,
DYSTOPIA: Road to Utopia
#8Victon,
“What I Said”
CRAVITYTREASURE
The First Step: TREASURE EFFECT
#9Dreamcatcher,
“Odd Eye”
Cherry BulletCherry Bullet,
Cherry Rush
#10PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña”
Red VelvetWayV,
Kick Back

Favorite Releases of the Year (as of March)

This sub-section is still little tricky for now because although I’ve liked plenty of songs/dances/music videos, there aren’t many things I loved. And when I rank my releases, I factor in how much I was involved – aka how many times I watched the music video/performances, how often I listened to it, whether I watched the artists on variety shows, etc. Basically, how obsessed I was with it. I haven’t *quite* gotten to a Top 10 yet, but I do have a Top 5!

  1. SHINee, “Don’t Call Me”
  2. Super Junior, “House Party”
  3. (G)I-DLE, “HWAA”
  4. Rosé, “On the Ground”
  5. PURPLE KISS, “Ponzoña”

Favorite Albums and B-Sides of the Year (as of March)

Still not quite at a Top 10 yet, but hoping I’ll get there after April!

Favorite AlbumsFavorite B-Sides
#1Super Junior, The RenaissanceSuper Junior, “Burn the Floor”
#2SHINee, Don’t Call MeSuper Junior, “Tell Me Baby”
#3(G)I-DLE, I BurnSHINee, “Body Rhythm”
#4PURPLE KISS, Into Violet(G)I-DLE, “Moon”
#5 Chungha, QuerenciaDreamcatcher, “Poison Love”

SOURCES: YouTube, Brave Entertainment* (Brave Girls), Cube Entertainment (Pentagon), DSP Media (MIRAE), Jellyfish Entertainment (VERIVERY), KQ Entertainment (ATEEZ), Label V (WayV), MLD Entertainment (T1419), P Nation (Jessi), Play M Entertainment (Weeekly), Rain Company (Rain and Ciipher), RBW Entertainment (PURPLE KISS), SM Entertainment (Super Junior and WayV), YG Entertainment (Rosé)
*Rather than the original music video for “Rollin,” I put one of Brave Girls’ more recent performances. The specific video I used is from The Show, which airs on SBS MTV.

Cover Image: Super Junior (SM Entertainment)

4 thoughts on “Favorites of 2021: March

    1. Hahaha I think it’s because it’s really easy to listen to? So whenever I need a break from playing a song or album on repeat, I’m always like “Oooh let’s listen to this” LOL

      Like

  1. OMG YESSSS Kick Back is just so good and the album has such gold b-sides too<3 I just discovered your blog, and I love how co-hesive and inclusive it is, it's really, really cool~ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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