Favorites of 2021: April

(This was supposed to come out this past weekend, but… I made six consecutive posts on Sunday and was totally drained ^^”’) I honestly can’t believe that we’re done with April and already several days into May. This year is moving by so fast, and I can’t deal. While there was an abundance of new music in April, I haven’t had a ton of time to consume a lot of K-pop lately – sadly, teaching at two schools has significantly changed my lifestyle. So although I checked out almost everything, most of the little free time I had for K-pop was divided between several releases.

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

As I mentioned last month, Baekhyun and Cosmic Girls have been included here because they made their comebacks on the last couple days of March. Similarly, I’m saving ITZY for May’s favorites – while their new release is totally my latest obsession, it was technically only around for six hours of April. (And I usually need at least two or three days to form a definitive opinion about a release.)

This Month’s Favorites

Favorite SongFavorite DanceFavorite Music Video
#1ASTRO,
“ONE”
ASTRO,
“ONE”
SHINee,
“Atlantis”
#2SHINee,
“Atlantis”
SHINee,
“Atlantis”
Baekhyun,
“Bambi”
#3Cosmic Girls,
“Unnatural”
ONF,
“Ugly Dance”
NU’EST,
“Inside Out”
#4Baekhyun,
“Bambi”
Cosmic Girls,
“Unnatural”
ASTRO,
“ONE”

Favorite Overall Comebacks

#1: ASTRO, “ONE”

“ONE” is pretty much the soundtrack of my April – I’ve listened to it or watched a video of it at least once a day since it came out. As a result, it easily clinches my top spot for this month. I love many of ASTRO’s songs, so I was bound to love this one… but I was also thrilled that they changed up their concept and tried something slightly different too. Plus the choreography and those outfits are 100% on point. Read my post about it here.

#2: SHINee, “Atlantis”

I love “Don’t Call Me” because it’s nothing like SHINee has ever done before, but I love “Atlantis” because it’s exactly what I’d expect from them in the most wonderful of ways. From the beautifully emotive vocals (and harmonies!) to the effortlessly synchronized dancing, it’s just quintessential SHINee. And it seriously pulls at my heartstrings whenever I listen. Read my post about it here.

#3: Cosmic Girls, “Unnatural”

“Unnatural” is exactly the kind of song girl groups use when they’re ready to mature their image, and it most definitely worked out for Cosmic Girls. It’s very classic and chic, but also super catchy and fun. I’m loving how glamorous and sophisticated everything is, and I’m very eager to see what’s next for these ladies as they enter a new stage of their careers. Read my post about it here.

#4: Baekhyun, “Bambi”

EXO’s military service era has been hard on this EXO-L, but the silver lining is that we’ve been getting some wonderful individual and subunit releases. Baekhyun’s solo career in particular is flourishing, and comebacks like “Bambi” make it easy to see why. He’s a natural at singing R&B, and the noir style music video was a perfect fit for those charming and sensual vibes. I would have ranked this higher if I was able to see a full performance video – you know I love my choreography – but I’m still very satisfied. 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 April

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

#1: Cosmic Girls,
Unnatural

#2: NU’EST,
Romanticize

#3: Baekhyun,
Bambi

B-Sides

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

ArtistAlbumB-Sides I Like
AB6IXMO’COMPLETE: HAVE A DREAM
(4th mini album)
“Headline”
ASTROAll Yours
(2nd full album)
“Someone Else”
BaekhyunBambi
(3rd mini album)
“All I Got”
Cosmic GirlsUnnatural
(9th mini album)
“Super Moon”
“New Me”
ENHYPENBORDER: CARNAVAL
(2nd mini album)
“FEVER”
“Mixed Up”
HOT ISSUEIssue Maker
(1st mini album)
“Dungga Dungga”
ONFCity of ONF
(ONF: My Name repackage)
“The Dreamer”
NU’ESTRomanticize
(2nd full album)
“Black”
“Doom Doom” (JR solo)
SHINeeAtlantis
(Don’t Call Me repackage)
“Days and Years”
Wendy (Red Velvet)Like Water
(1st mini album)
“Best Friend” feat. Seulgi

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.

SuperM, “We Do”

As much as I love the members of SuperM, I’ve had very mixed feelings about their music so far. I do always end up coming around, but sometimes it takes a long time. “We Do,” however, is most definitely an instant love. It’s so upbeat and entertaining, and it makes me want to dance and groove along. I enjoy it so much that I wish it were a real comeback, especially since it’s the last song we have before Baekhyun and Taemin enlist (sob).

This Year’s Favorites (So Far)

One of the reasons I created this column was that 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.

This month, I’ve added a new feature to better show how my rankings shift from month to month. So now, there are different colors to indicate any changes in the table:

  • (NEW) means something has appeared in the Top 10 for the first time.
  • (+#) means that it’s has gone up in my rankings.
  • (-#) means that it’s has gone down in my rankings.
  • No mark means that there’s no change from last month.

Right now, my habit is paying attention to a comeback for a certain amount of time and then taking a break from it. It’s usually only in the second half of the year that I start revisiting music and re-evaluate my opinions. Also, I haven’t had as much time to listen to or watch K-pop in general this past month. So, there aren’t many songs moving up my lists at this point – it’s mostly just me adding in my new favorites of the month and shifting the chart accordingly. The significant changes are more likely to come later in the year.

Favorite SongFavorite DanceFavorite Music Video
#1SHINee,
“Don’t Call Me”
SHINee,
“Don’t Call Me”
SHINee,
“Atlantis” (NEW)
#2ASTRO,
“ONE” (NEW)
ASTRO,
“ONE” (NEW)
Baekhyun,
“Bambi” (NEW)
#3Rosé,
“On the Ground” (-1)
SHINee,
“Atlantis” (NEW)
Golden Child,
“Burn It” (-2)
#4Super Junior,
“House Party” (-1)
Sunmi,
“Tail” (-2)
Sunmi,
“Tail” (-2)
#5Baekhyun,
“Bambi” (NEW)
Super Junior,
“House Party” (-2)
PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña” (-2)
#6(G)I-DLE,
“HWAA” (-2)
PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña” (-2)
Super Junior,
“House Party” (-2)
#7Sunmi,
“Tail” (-2)
WayV,
“Kick Back” (-2)
(G)I-DLE,
“HWAA” (-2)
#8WayV,
“Kick Back” (-2)
ONF,
“Ugly Dance” (NEW)
ONF,
“Beautiful Beautiful” (-2)
#9PURPLE KISS,
“Ponzoña” (-2)
Chungha,
“Bicycle” (-3)
Dreamcatcher,
“Odd Eye” (-2)
#10Cosmic Girls,
“Unnatural” (NEW)
Cosmic Girls,
“Unnatural” (NEW)
NU’EST,
“Inside Out” (NEW)

My Listening Stats for K-pop in 2021 (as of April)

NOTE: These are primarily based on my Apple Music Replay stats.

Most Played SongsMost Played ArtistsMost Played Albums
#1Super Junior,
“House Party” (+2)
Super JuniorSuper Junior,
The Renaissance
#2(G)I-DLE,
“HWAA” (-1)
SHINeeSHINee,
Don’t Call Me
#3Yunho (TVXQ),
“Eeny Meeny” (-1)
(G)I-DLE(G)I-DLE,
I Burn
#4SHINee,
“Don’t Call Me” (+1)
ChunghaChungha,
Querencia
#5Rosé,
“On the Ground” (-1)
WayVCosmic Girls,
Unnatural (NEW)
#6WayV,
“Kick Back” (+1)
VictonVicton,
Voice: The Future Is Now (-1)
#7Cherry Bullet,
“Love So Sweet” (-1)
Cosmic Girls (NEW)ASTRO,
All Yours (NEW)
#8Victon,
“What I Said”
Red Velvet (+2)NU’EST,
Romanticize (NEW)
#9Dreamcatcher,
“Odd Eye”
Dreamcatcher (-2)Baekhyun,
Bambi (NEW)
#10ASTRO,
“ONE” (NEW)
ASTRO (NEW)CRAVITY
Hideout: Be Our Voice – Season 3 (-4)

It’s really interesting that ASTRO is higher than NU’EST and Baekhyun on the “Most Played Albums” list, because I prefer Romanticize and Bambi as whole albums. (Meaning there are more B-sides that I enjoyed, and/or I’m more inclined to listen to it all the way through.) I did listen to All Yours in its entirety once or twice, but I mostly just played “ONE.” I think Apple Music ranks “Most Played Albums” by adding up how many times you play each song from the album – rather than how many times you listen to it from beginning to end – so that definitely indicates to me just how much I played “ONE” this month.

Favorite Releases of the Year

This category isn’t just about how much I like a comeback and its separate elements. Those definitely play a factor, but I also consider how invested I am in it – how much time I spend listening to music, watching videos, tracking promotions, etc. So I’m still not *quite* up to a Top 10 because I just don’t have as much time to spend on K-pop as I did last year… but we’re getting there!

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

Favorite Albums and B-Sides of the Year

Favorite AlbumsFavorite B-Sides
#1Super Junior, The RenaissanceBaekhyun, “All I’ve Got” (NEW)
#2SHINee, Don’t Call MeSuper Junior, “Burn the Floor” (-1)
#3Cosmic Girls, Unnatural (NEW)Super Junior, “Tell Me Baby” (-1)
#4(G)I-DLE, I Burn (-1)SHINee, “Body Rhythm” (-1)
#5PURPLE KISS, Into Violet (-1)Cosmic Girls, “Super Moon” (NEW)
#6NU’EST, Romanticize (NEW)NU’EST, “Black” (NEW)
#7Baekhyun, Bambi (NEW)Dreamcatcher, “Poison Love” (-2)
#8Chungha, Querencia (-3)(G)I-DLE, “Moon” (-3)
#9Victon, Voice: The Future Is Now*PURPLE KISS, “Skip Skip”*
#10WayV, Kick Back*ASTRO, “Someone Else” (NEW)

*These aren’t exactly new entries – it’s just that this is the first time I’ve include a full Top 10, and they weren’t in my Top 5 (which is what I was showing previously).


SOURCES: YouTube, BE:LIFT LAB/HYBE (ENHYPEN), Brand New Entertainment (AB6IX), Fantagio Entertainment (ASTRO), S2 Entertainment (HOT ISSUE), SM Entertainment (SHINee, Baekhyun, Wendy, and SuperM), Starship Entertainment (Cosmic Girls), WM Entertainment (ONF)

Featured Image: ASTRO (Fantagio Entertainment)

2 thoughts on “Favorites of 2021: April

    1. I think it’s because I usually just focus on what’s out right now, so I feel like I’m always listening to the same set of songs hahaha
      And yay same favorites! I actually love the whole album, but I always just try to limit myself to one or two songs when I make this post

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: