My main impression this year was that there was a distinct lack of interesting new songs. For new music, I continued to listen to the radio but dialed back a lot on KPop. It wasn’t productive for me to keep paying attention to blogs to find out about new KPop. I also took a long break from radio in the middle of the year because the kids started listening to (the same) kid albums over and over. We attained a balance in the last quarter of the year so I had a chance to catch up (not that I missed much, if anything).
Due to this, here is an shorter list for 2018 – I think this list could have been cut before 10:
- New Rules – Dua Lipa
This might have come out at the end of 2017, but it got in my ahead and I bought her self titled album this year. Catchy pop but I can only remember its chorus. I also have a weird mashup version of this that Pentaonix did with an Aaliyah song!
- Solo – Clean Bandit ft Demi Lovato
If I had listened to the radio more in the summer, I think this would have been the song of the summer for me. But, because I didn’t listen to it that much; maybe I think this song is better than it actually is.
- Stay – 태연 (Taeyeon)
Best Taeyeon song of the year. I like the uplifting style and the imagery of the video. Wish she released more ballads this year, but this is a pop song in the vein of Rain so I think it will remain in my rotation for awhile. I think this is the song that I should have been.
- Done For MeCharlie Puth ft Kehlani
Charlie Puth released his new album this year, but first two singles were played in 2017 (Attention and How Long). I was waiting forever for this album since I enjoyed those singles as well as his first album. His second album has a high overall quality, but not many singles after this third one.
- 삐삐 (Bbibbi) – 아이유 (IU)
IU’s songs are always so self reflective, and this is in a similar vein where she addresses her social media haters. That’s just one aspect of her marketing though. She’s really just a typical pop idol, fashioned in a particular way for her fans. This song is catchy, the video is stylistic, the dance is fun; but in a few years it will just be like her other pop hits (see: Good Day, You & I). And more generally, lost in a forest of pop.
- Something New – 태연 (Taeyeon)
Not a fan of this video and I don’t think this song is in a style that will give it a lot of lifetime listening. I think they fit Taeyeon into this song for sales and awards, rather than writing a song to fit her.
- 몰랐니 (Lil’ Touch) – 소녀시대-Oh!GG
I see this song as an attempt for SNSD to stay relevant. 3 more of their group have left (Tiffany, Soo Young, Seohyun) and so this “sub group” is an excuse to release something with the remaining 5 members. I guess you could say the song is an evolution because it’s not bubblegum pop but a little more progressive (reminds me of a jungle). However, the video just feels old – the band members are now pushing 30, which is ancient in the pop world. Their release this year was a single (not even an EP), and they have all had solo albums (except Sunny?). I can’t imagine the group will have another comeback next year.
- 다른사람을 사랑하고 있어 (I’m In Love With Someone Else) – 수지 (Suzy)
I enjoyed Suzy’s previous EP (Yes? No?) and really tried to like her most recent EP. After listening to it several times, this ballad is the only one that stuck.
- Call Out My Name – The Weeknd
The Weeknd released a surprise EP this year, which wasn’t great but paid some fan service if you like his style of music (which I do). Call Out My Name was the single, but I don’t think it was the strongest track on the EP.
- In My Feelings – Drake
This song would be otherwise forgettable if it weren’t for the fact that Jovian loves this song. We end up playing it over and over while he tries to dance to it. He doesn’t care about the dance challenge, he just makes his own moves. Also, for the longest time, I thought this song had “Kiki” in the title…
- Calvin Harris ft Sam Smith – Promises
Last minute entry. Sounds good and…promising after hearing it on the radio.
- I Got You – Bebe Rexha
I actually saw Bebe Rexha perform at an iHeartRadio concert at CES at the start of the year. Prior to that concert, I did some research to see if I would like her music – and I didn’t. This song came back on my radar because I heard a cover of it (forgot by who). I looked up this original and it actually isn’t as good! Oh well, I think this is a decent song even if I never heard it on the radio.
- Lost In Japan – Shawn Mendes (Zedd Remix)
Radio only played the Zedd remix so I had no idea what the original sounds like. The situation posed by this song is a bit ridiculous and watching the video for the first time, it looks like it’s trying to emulate Lost in Translation.
- Calvin Harris ft Dua Lipa – One Kiss
This song benefited from New Rules and caught my attention because Dua Lipa sang on it. I guess it would be popular in the clubs.
- No Tears Left To Cry – Arianna Grande
Never listened to a lot of Arianna Grande, as her songs haven’t piqued my interest. This one did mildly due to the lack of quality songs this year, so I wouldn’t call it an achievement.
- God Is A Woman – Arianna Grande
As I was writing this list, I remembered this song…it’s memorable for 2018 (see above).
It’s kind of telling that this year, my most favorite song might have been released in 2017!