January - February 2020
March - June 2020
July - September 2020
October – December 2020
New year, same old me. I'm continuing my compilation lists of the best K-pop deep cuts into 2021 because:
1) I'm bored 2) Singles are sometimes the worst song on an album, and 3) It's a pandemic and I have nothing better to do!
GOLDEN CHILD - ROUND N ROUND (기다리고 있어)
Album: Yes. (Full Album)
Release Date: January 25, 2021
Lead Single: Burn It
Why You Should Give "Round N Round" a Chance:
"ONE (Lucid Dream)" was one of my favourite K-pop songs last year - and while I don't think you'll fall in love with "Round N Round" on first listen, I do think you'll come to appreciate it as a well-constructed, mid-tempo pop song that you'll eventually keep finding your way back to. Something about the rapping and the vocal melody in the chorus makes me think of K-pop circa 2013 (in a good way!) and the instrumental breakdown in the bridge is really cool and funky. It's just a solid song from start to finish that is well worth your time.
WONHO - AIN'T ABOUT YOU (FEAT. KIIARA)
Album: Love Synonym 2: Right For Us (Mini Album/EP)
Release Date: February 26, 2021
Lead Single: Lose
Why You Should Give "Ain't About You" a Chance:
Some of you may not be aware - but professional thirst trap instagrammer, Wonho, makes music in his spare time - and it's pretty good! "Ain't About You" is an English language offering from K-pop that holds up and doesn't make you want to cringe from embarrassing lyrics. It's cheeky, smooth, a little corny at times (but in all the right pop music ways) and totally addictive.
WJSN - YALLA (음 (YALLA))
Album: Unnatural (Mini Album/EP)
Release Date: March 31, 2021
Lead Single: Unnatural
Why You Should Give "YALLA" a Chance:
WJSN is one of the most dependable groups in terms of knowing there will be at least something on their EPs/albums worth listening to. This time it was a toss up between "New Me" and "Yalla" and I went with the house-heavy "Yalla" (although both are worth checking out and "New Me" is arguably the better song - I just happen to enjoy Yalla more, personally). WJSN made my March - June 2020 list last year with the intricate and interesting "Pantomime". These girls just deliver the bops, what more do you even need to know!? The lead single is also great - just a solid EP all around.
And that. is. it - 3 songs. What a terrible year so far for music. I do think there have been a lot of great releases (Sunmi, IU, Chungha) but the best songs have all been singles and I don't feel like there are any deep cuts that really compete with (or outshine) the main tracks.
*Disclaimer: Nobody ask me why SHINee isn't on this list. I love them dearly but that album was a mess from start to finish and I am still not over the disappointment.
What did I miss, omona? Educate me in the comments! I'm still obsessed with UP10TION's "Dawn" from last year. What are you playing on repeat?
SOURCES: [Golden Child] [woolliment] / [WONHO] [WONHO] / [우주소녀 WJSN] [1theK (원더케이)]