7 Kpop songs to check out in 2016 (Jan-Jun)
Found your Kpop jams in 2016 so far?
Many of you have, I'm sure of it. But if not, no worries. We got you covered.
With 2016 already halfway through, it’s a good time as ever to talk about the songs that came out so far. From I.O.I to Seventeen to various SNSD members releasing songs, it was hard to choose from the songs released just in the 1st half of 2016.
But we managed to narrow down our choices. But rather than pick songs based off sales or popularity, we chose songs if we simply liked them.
There are hundreds of songs to choose from already just in the first 6 months, yet here are a few that we have on repeat on our play list. Ranging from bubblegum pop to hip hop, the list is a small, yet wide variety of genres.
Without further ado, the list:
1. Mamamoo – “Woo Hoo”
Mamamoo’s had a solid year thus far with “You’re the Best,” “Taller than You,” and “Woo Hoo.” Yet the song I chose from the four ladies is the latter.
“Woo Hoo” is their least known song among the three above, yet it’s vastly underrated. This song shows off their R&B, retro vocals in a fun, upbeat song.
The MV shows the ladies fun side running and playing inside a house. Much props for the camera team, as well as the ladies for doing this video in one continuous shot.
2. Taeyeon – “Rain”
With the SNSD members branching out into solo activities, Taeyeon has came out with a string of good hits. While her July release “Why” does not qualify for this list (the list is the first half of 2016 from Jan to June), I would still go with her earlier release “Rain.”
This slow R&B and jazzy melody showcases her vocals to the fullest. With the backdrop of a “room of memories” trying to get past a former lover, the song suits her vocals well.
Often times, it’s hard to distinguish singers that have powerful voices in a pop group, so it’s great to see Taeyeon’s voice in her solos.
3. EXO – “Monster”
There’s no slowing down EXO, as every song SM Entertainment pens for the group turns into instant success.
“Monster” is no exception. The song is a catchy song with an addictive hook and easy-to-listen song. The excellent dancing also shows why there are many dance groups emulating EXO’s every move.
If SM’s plan was to turn the EXO into a Monster (pun intended), then they’ve more than succeeded. Ever since their debut in 2012, they parlayed their strong debut into the EXO craze of 2013 and never looked back.
The once 12 member group is still churning out hits as a 9 person group. Between their poppy vocals and solid choreography, EXO’s popularity is still at an all-time high.
4. Mighty Mouth feat. Chancellor – “Sugar Sugar”
Mighty Mouth is back with another head-bopping song in “Sugar Sugar.” This summer song features Chancellor, as Chancellor’s R&B vocals is a great fit for the bridge.
The bicycles, skateboards, basketball playing hits the summer feel in spades. The MV is also shot in one continuous recording, which is impressive in its own right.
Just by watching the MV, makes you want to go outside… that is, if you’re not out already searching for Pokemon in Pokemon Go.
5. Amber – “On My Own” Feat. Gen Neo
Being the rapper of f(x), it might be unusual to hear Amber singing, but it’s definitely a welcome surprise. The MV starts off very minimalistic, with the camera just following Amber and giving us snippets of her life. She starts of singing, but is quickly joined by Gen Neo for a great duet. The beat, along with Amber’s vocals, is reminiscent of old school pop rock, giving me Avril Lavigne feels.
Amber’s been releasing great music as a solo artist and this is a gem you don’t want to miss.
6. Zion T – “Knock”
With Show Me The Money Season 5 churning out hit after hit, it was hard to choose just one, but Zion.T’s 쿵 resonated the most with me lyrically.In true Zion.T fashion, this song starts off with simple piano sounds and finger snaps right before he drops his beginning verse.
Most hip hop artists like to talk about money and name brands or start diss battles through their music, but once again, Zion.T shows his uniqueness by being humble throughout the song and in fact calling out his friends saying he misses them.
This song is easy on the ears, so be sure to give it a listen if you like some Zion.T.
7. Jerry.k – “Call Center” feat. OOHYO
Relatively unknown, perhaps hugely underrated rapper Jerry.k dropped Call Center, a song about the fate of many new graduates in this day and time. The first thing you hear is the sound of a telephone and then Oohyo’s haunting vocals to open for the rap. The MV follows the lyrics, as Jerry.K raps about youngsters graduating and having to work at a call center due to lack of work experience. Despite it seeming to be better than working at a factory, it’s no walk in the park either.
The MV ends with a PSA for people to call helplines for work opportunities, showing off the thought behind the production of this song. The song ends with some great vocals from Oohyo, so be sure to listen the whole way through.
What’s your take
So which Kpop songs in 2016 so far were your favorites this year from January to June? Did you agree with our picks?
We’d love to know what your favorite songs are in the comments below.
Jason Yu (aka Jangta) works in Seoul, Korea as foreign media. When he's not singing to Sistar and Mamamoo, he talks about Kpop and the Korean music industry in-depth on his site at Popsori. Come on over and say "hi" to him over there!