So much happened in 2016, both in the world of Kpop and beyond, that it was hard to keep track of what was coming out from one moment to the next. That's why even though many of us are quite content to put
A lot of people understandably had mixed feelings about the title track for this mini, "Hate," given its disjointed sound and bait-and-switch expectations from the song's teasers. "Blind" has a similar hard/soft dynamic and uses the same kind of brass wall-of-sound bass effect as "Hate" does in the chorus, but in a more cohesive way. 4Minute may have been cruelly taken from us, but at least they gave us one last great mini to go out on.
Runners Up: Canvas, No Love
Flight Log: Departure was the first album to date that really gave GOT7 more control of their music, and they took full advantage of it - various members have writing credits on almost every song on the album. This song is a bit of a departure (pun intended) for GOT7 compared to their previous releases, featuring a more laid-back and mature sound from a group that often suffers from overproduction.
Runner Up: Can't
Follow-up track to AOA's requisite summer release "Good Luck," "10 Seconds" delivers a more lowkey side of AOA that we don't normally see. The song is reminiscent of the 80s-inspired sound that worked so well for Wonder Girls last year, and proves that AOA has more in them than just catchy concept videos.
Even though Luna's solo debut with "Free Somebody" went largely underappreciated, the mini contains some hidden gems. Luna expanded upon f(x)'s experimental 90s EDM influence from 4 Walls throughout the album, and also gave us a more chill, downtempo track with "Breathe" that would be worthy of top-40 radio play in the States. Of course Luna's vocals get plenty of shine as well.
Runner Up: Galaxy
This middle track on Hyorin's solo album It's Me is a cool and sexy-sounding R&B song without any of the unnecessary rap features or weird instrumental breaks that kept some of the other songs on this album from being really perfect. The rest of it is still definitely worth a listen, but in those areas, "꺼져" comes out on top.
2016 truly was the year of Twice, who came out with 2 of the most popular songs of the year within the span of a few months. But while everyone was Cheering Up and Like TT, this underrated gem snuck in as a deep track on their Page Two EP. The lyrics about getting over a breakup by listening to music are something that everybody can relate to, and the song is a certified bop.
BTS's Wings had everybody shook in 2016, from the mysterious teasers to the iconic MV for Blood Sweat & Tears to a solo song from every member on the album. "Lost" is one of the few upbeat songs on an otherwise fairly dark album but keeps BTS's signature hard-hitting style. There aren't any live stages of this song from what I can tell but it's one that I'd love to see the group do choreography for.
Jonghyun blessed us all with his first full-length album in 2016, giving us a mix of dancier tracks and more dramatic fare. Suit Up rounds the album off with an ode to weddings and Jonghyun's whispery, almost conversational vocals.
Runner Up: Moon
The first time I heard Onew at the beginning of Prism, my soul left my body. Shinee's always taken musical risks and 1 of 1 was certainly no exception - they're one of the only groups who could really pull off a weird two-step track like this (which Jonghyun helped compose.) Plus, how could you not love that this album came with a cassette tape?
Runner Up: Feel Good
2PM served us a grown and sexy boyfriend concept with the release of Gentlemen's Game and their single "Promise (I'll Be.)" "Uneasy" is the flipside of that coin, a moody synth-bass driven track about a relationship gone sour.
UKISS is the group that just won't die, releasing their Stalker mini (as well as a Japanese mini and best-of collection) in 2016 after one member officially left and another became a baby daddy. It's still a mystery why their company chose to promote the hot mess of a song and concept that was "Stalker" when they had a perfectly good throwback UKISS song in "Heartless" instead.
Like many other groups, Hyuna (or more likely Cube) has a tendency of hiding her best tracks in her minis. The single, "어때 (How's This?)" was basically "잘나가서 그래 (Roll Deep)" part 2, full of the bad-girl bravado and bratty rapping style we've come to expect from Hyuna these days. In contrast, "U & Me" is a much more easygoing (and dare I say listenable) track that shows more of Hyuna's softer side.
Day6 released their 2nd EP, Daydream, in 2016, promoting it with another emotionally-driven rock ballad, "놓아 놓아 놓아 (Letting Go)." "Blood" is a less soaring and more funky B-side that deserves more attention.
these were REALLY hard to pick (hence why the runner-up category was included.) I'm sure there are still plenty that I've forgotten about; let me know in the comments!
Spotify 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
iTunes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
MNET K-pop | got7 - Topic | soshilyrics | 세훈마크 | DAY6 TV