It’s the post you’ve been waiting for – Kpopalypse’s top 30 songs of 2020!
[Kpopalypse] Kpopalypse’s 30 favourite k-pop songs of 2020 (2020.12.31)
The year 2020 was simultaneously the best and the worst year for k-pop I’ve ever seen since the Golden Age of 2008-2011. The start of the year was horrible with almost nothing good and a great deal that was bad, but somewhere around April/May a lot of Korean pop music output gradually started becoming more awesome. By the end of the year, I was honestly spoiled for choice for great songs and there were very, very many that were on the shortlist for this list here as well as the honourable mentions list that just didn’t make it on. So just because a song that you thought I liked didn’t make it to this list doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it – there was just a lot of competition this year, honestly more than I can remember since I started doing these lists eight years ago, and many songs that I really liked in 2020 were squeezed out of the list completely.
New readers, or readers who are easily confused, may wish to read the following dot points, which make clear this list’s scope and intentions:
- Songs are eligible if they were released between 1st January 2020 and 31st December 2020, although the cutoff does extend a little bit prior to both dates to catch songs that were released in the dying days of the previous year. This list was published on 31st December 2020 but may appear earlier for some readers due to timezones.
- Songs have to be feature tracks/singles, but B side and album tracks are eligible if they were also “debuted” on TV shows or had their own official video made for them.
- Songs for OSTs are not eligible for this list, because they’re almost universally terrible and just not worth the effort to cover.
- Songs for festive and sporting events are not eligible. Christmas songs have their own separate list, and sport event songs are ignored in the hope that if we ignore them, they will learn.
- Chart performance, cultural relevance, attractiveness of the members, who won something on an awards show, whether someone is possibly a nice person or not etc is not relevant for this list and these factors are only commented on for “narrative colour”. This list is my 100% subjective opinion on music quality only and is purely reflective of my own personal taste, it does not constitute an authority of any kind.
- “K-pop” is deliberately defined a little loosely for this list – as music either originating from or existing/trying to exist in the Korean industry. Songs that aren’t strictly “pop music” are eligible. Songs from Koreans trying to break into non-Korean markets and/or singing in non-Korean languages are eligible. K-pop artists featuring on western artists’ tracks are eligible. Western attempts at “being a k-pop” are also eligible.
- I write these lists for fun, good times, the joy of sharing good music with others, an easy way to collect songs that I like so I can play them later, and as a fun writing exercise because I enjoy writing. If you’re enjoying these lists for what they are (harmless subjective opinion, expressed with twisted cunty humour) then cheers to you and I appreciate your support and readership! However if you hate it, then I question why you are here at all. There are thousands of sites on the Internet that are devoted to k-pop, and they all have lists like this, so why are you sitting here reading the only one written by an asshole? The fact that Kpopalypse remains an enduringly popular website after eight years indicates that maybe people do appreciate my style of humour and the opinions expressed with direct honesty (as opposed to the sugar-coated fluff that other sites peddle so as not to offend their reader base and sponsors) more than you might think, and that maybe if I followed your dumbass advice to “fix my tone”, then that would actually be to nobody’s benefit. I write the way I want to write because I simply enjoy doing so, I’m not going to change, and you know this, so why are you really here?
- On the other hand if this post was too sunny, bright and positive for you, you may wish to consider reading my worst k-pop songs of 2020 list instead so you can feel appropriately miserable.
Let’s proceed with the list!
21. Love X Stereo – All Over Again
Keen readers of Kpopalypse blog will be aware of my “big boobs in k-pop part 7” post which is totally not a dog post instead apart from the bits where there are dogs. You may have also observed that this post is almost exclusively focused on famous idols and solo singers plus their pets, with one very obvious outlier, that being Annie Ko from Love X Stereo and her magnificent large white doggo. Readers may be surprised at this obscure pick but thanks to the “All Over Again” 360 degree video I was exceptionally familiar with Annie’s dog as I was able to observe this creature from many angles, confirming that it met required dog standards for the post. Actually Annie’s dog exceeded required dog standards by a fair margin, as most idol dogs featured were disappointingly tiny and crap, no doubt due to idol living conditions necessitating that they have a pet that they can squeeze comfortably into their toilet-cubicle sized dormitories. As such any Korean musician with a large dog that is actually their own can be assumed to be living a life of relative freedom that is necessary for management of such a dog. You may be waiting for me to start discussing the actual music here, but I actually am discussing the music – just as pop idols have restrictions on their pet size (smol), they also have restrictions on the size of their musical creativity (microscopic). The type of eclectic and rocking but also oddly soothing mantra-like jam that is “All Over Again” could simply not have been produced by anyone within an idol system, and this is why Kpopalypse always takes careful note of independent Korean musicians to see if they occasionally pop out gems like this one, and why you should also. It’s not all insipid coffee-shop bullshit and crap ballads, some of these groups are actually really cool and Love X Stereo is consistently one of the best. Now stop angling the camera down at Annie’s legs you pervert and buy their fucking album on Bandcamp, which has this great song, plus the excellent “Call My Name” from last year and a bunch of other cool stuff. Do it today.