A week ago I went to Twitter and asked for your help on whether I should do an all inclusive Top 20 or to do a separate list for title tracks and b-sides. And you guys were of NO help whatsoever so thanks for nothing! Honestly, the poll I did came out 50/50 so I just decided to make things easier for me and made two separate lists. Thanks me!
2018 has been a great year of music, so many groups have come out and I’ve discovered so many amazing artists. While a lot of light shines on title tracks, I feel like an artist or groups sweet spot is in their B-sides – the listener is able to discover the kinds of music the artists prefer or how amazing each voice can be.
I do need to make some apologies in advanced – there are a lot of tracks from the same artists so sorry if you were coming here to discover new songs you’ve never heard of before. I will also be including their YouTube videos so feel free to click on the links if you’re unaware of the song I’m talking about. I will also leave a link to my Spotify playlist based on this list at the end of the post as well. The songs in both this list and in my title track list I thrashed (HEAVILY) as soon as it was released. I took the amount of plays, my initial reactions, translations and how they made me feel into account so sit back and get ready for some pure fan-girling.
20. JONGHYUN – Take The Dive
Well, this song made me freak out the minute I heard it which changed this album from the late Jonghyun turn from heart-breaking to earth-shattering. Honestly, this album is great, start to finish, but this song stood out to me. From the sensual and sexual way he uses his voice over such a subdued and beautiful song is breath-taking.
19. RM – everythingoes feat. NELL
This song gives me chills every time I hear it. The fact Namjoon is singing is almost too overpowering yet the way the music keeps building every second turns this song into an almost spiritual experience. There are a lot of songs from Mono which stood out yet this song was my most played and my most beloved.
18. EXO – Sign
I was so thankful EXO finally had an actual comeback so was expecting some serious bangers. This entire album was fantastic and I did debate over which song to include in this list but Sign was the one which messed me up over time. The music is crazy intense at times yet doesn’t overpower the vocals at all, in fact they tend to be complimentary to each other.
17. WINNER (MINO) – Turn Off the Light
While some of this album was debatable for me, nothing, AND I MEAN NOTHING, prepared me for the absolute perfection of this song. I just love when a rapper sings!! The song is slower and more tame than I thought it would be – in retrospect it’s understandable considering how savage his solo album was. The melody, the changing tempo and THE HARMONIES, JESUS! It was all the makings of top shelf talent. HE WENT IN FALSETTO!!!! Don’t tell me you all weren’t gagged from this song as well!
16. A.C.E (WOW & JUN) – Black and Blue
This is the definition of a thot song!! I’m so happy to have stumbled upon and fallen in love with A.C.E this year and if it wasn’t because of their title track it would’ve been because of this song. Honestly, where the fuck did this even come from?! It’s so different from the rest of the album (which makes it stand out a lot more) but I can’t help but love love LOVE it!! And them! I love them so much and everyone should too – your 2019 will be better because of it, I promise you!
15. SAM KIM – If
I’ve been a Sam Kim fan for years and it’s been so long since we got an album from him. This album was so much more than what I was expecting as there is a clear change in direction and a little bit of finessing of his sound. But If takes me right back to what made me fall in love with him in the first place – acoustic guitar, subtle harmonies and an incredibly beautiful vocal. “If I were gone tomorrow…” is a lyric that resonated with me long after the album finished playing. Stunning!
14. GOT7 (YOUNGJAE) – Nobody Knows
This song made me upset. Like, really REALLY upset! I cried when the teaser came out, when I heard the song in its entirety, when I read the translation… There was no way this song wasn’t going to be one of my absolute favourites of the year. Youngjae’s powerful voice absolutely destroys you, his words ruin you and you can’t help but be left both hella winded and hella worried about him. It’s a beautiful song and I’m proud of him.
13. iKON – Don’t Forget
There’s no doubt in my mind that 2018 belonged to iKON – they’ve done supremely well this year. My favourite thing from them has to be their Return album and Don’t Forget was my favourite song for sure. As soon as I heard it was a ballad I damn near lost my mind yet when Hanbin started singing I was done. It’s a terribly sad song which is executed perfectly by Junhoe’s soulful and husky power vocal contrasted with B.Is soft and higher pitched voice. Yes, another example of a rapper singing…I’m total trash.
12. KEY – Good Good
I’m not overly familiar with SHINee’s back catalogue though I am familiar with the solo works of both Taemin and Jonghyun as well as loving the members themselves. I walked into this Key album with zero expectations and I was shit-whipped with this second track. The power he puts on his voice was amazing and his vocal clarity was definitely a surprise to me. By far my favourite song off this stellar album.
11. LOONA – Favourite
I’m still fairly new to the world of LOONA yet I have liked a lot of the solo members tracks. Favourite was the first time all 12 members were presented to the world as a collective and good god was it an amazing time. It packs a punch, is catchy as hell, shows great choreography and amazing unity between all the girls. It was definitely a great way for new fans to get drawn into them so hopefully more people will continue to do so.
10. GOT7 – One and Only You feat. HYOLYN
Well, I never knew this song was going to be one of my absolute favourite GOT7 songs ever! It’s sooooo good and I don’t know if it has to do with Hyolyn’s involvement or because my babies finally had a featuring artist after so many years. It showed their personalities so well – upbeat, catchy, incredible vocals and great music. I’ve never heard them sound so perfect than in this song and I’m all here for it!
9. J-HOPE – P.O.P (Piece of Peace) pt. 1
I don’t think this song stood out as much as Baseline or Hangsang did during first listen but over time this song really showed it’s colour. And it’s colour is as bright as Jung Hoseok because JESUS I could listen to this song over and over again and never get sick of it. Hoseok’s vocals are amazing in this song and the funkiness of the song represents Hoseok’s musical groove perfectly.
8. BTS (V) – Singularity
I feel like I don’t even need to explain this one – why WOULDN’T this song be on my list?! Not only are Taehyung’s vocals absolutely perfect in this song but the music video and what this song stands for in the grand scheme of the Love Yourself storyline is absolute genius. This song is the epitome of who Taehyung is as a person – deep, soulful, haunting and sinful. My baby did so well!
7. GOT7 – I Am Me
From first listen I knew this song would make it to this list. Everything about it is exactly what I love in a song and the fact it’s done by my babies makes it even better. It’s a beautiful song that matches well with the rest of the album – one dedicated purely to their fans – and as a BIG fan, I of course cried while listening to it. All members have solid vocals throughout and the slow yet building music work really well together.
6. MONSTA X – Mohae
MONSTA X have had an amazing year and they’ve released some incredible albums. Are You There is great from start to finish but Mohae is the only song off the album that I go straight to. I have a lot of favourite songs off this album which I listen to all the time but Mohae…she’s just THAT song, ya know? Changkyun did a really good job with this song and it’s turned into one of my all time favourite MX songs with that damn Shownu/Kihyun high note cutting through my entire existence. It’s catchy, easy to sing and shows a great amount of the wonderful things MONSTA X has to offer.
5. BTS – Paradise
This song is so easy to fall in love with. It was a fresh sound for the group and it often reminded me of old school BTS which I loved. It was more hip-hop based than what I was used to from their recent work so it was a welcome sound. All the boys sounded amazing in this song but Yoongi, Jin and Jimin really stepped up on this song and sold me on the song. It’s also a great song to sing in a concert yet it hasn’t been a part of their setlist for their Love Yourself tour which is a shame. This song is just top notch and I wished more people talked about it so I can freak out about it more.
4. MONSTA X – Lost In the Dream
I mentioned in Mohae that MONSTA X has released some amazing stuff this year and nothing beats their The Code album – it is my favourite album they’ve ever done though Are You There is coming close behind the more I listen to it. There are a lot of stand out songs on this album but Lost In the Dream is by far my favourite. It’s haunting, it is grand and theatrical and it takes the listener on a journey – to hell, apparently. Honestly, this song makes me want to freak out in happiness as well as smash some shit because WHY DOES KIHYUN SOUND LIKE THIS? All the boy sound great in this, particularly the rap line, but Kihyun brings it so hard!
3. BTS – Outro: Tear
You seriously didn’t think I was going to leave this gem off the list did you?! I cannot even put into words how much this song ruined me. If you’re super curious, I filmed a first listen to the entire Tear album over on my YouTube channel so feel free to see how upset I was. From the orchestral intro to the absolute ferocity of Namjoon and Hoseok, a bitch was not ready. But Yoongi… Suga came WAY too hard in this song and did things I never would’ve expected him to do. This song absolutely annihilates the other rap line songs with it’s substance and weight and the overall feeling they leave the listener with long after it’s ended – M I S E R Y .
2. BTS – The Truth Untold feat. STEVE AOKI
While I cried over the savagery of Outro: Tear, this song made me cry from sadness. What an absolutely genius song! I have a lot of favourite vocal line songs but this one is definitely tied for their best (Dimple is my other favourite). I don’t quite know where this song came from nor do I know why they decided to make a song like this but the very thought of the vocals and the quality of their lyrics in this song make me borderline depressed. Such a stunning song full of emotion, grandeur and vocal perfection. Each member sang in the places most suited for their voice though I can’t help but be curious to how it would’ve sounded with each member having a turn at singing the ever famous “I still want you” line. Definitely deserving of this top two spot.
Before I reveal my number one I wanted to mention five other songs that almost made it to the list but still impacted my 2018 in a big way. I won’t include these songs in my Spotify playlist but I highly recommend you to go and check them out.
- iKON – Jerk
This song shows such classic iKON tropes that are needed to produce an amazing song – the artistry of Kim Hanbin, the sad and emotional lyrics, a catchy melody and a seven-membered outro. This song is so beautiful and suits all seven members so well. There were a lot of songs on this album which could’ve been here but I feel like Jerk was my favourite of the bunch.
- BTS – Magic Shop
This almost made it, almost. From the meaning behind it to Kook being in the drivers seat, from the lyrics to the stunning vocals… this song is so beautiful! It’s light and delicate at times but builds to intensity in others – it shows a great understanding of each members talents and utilises them in an emotional and purely fan-aimed song. There were a lot of stand outs in this song but the teamwork of the 95 line really killed it for me.
- BLACKPINK – See You Later
I have a lot of opinions about BLACKPINK in regards to how YG handles them but what I can’t deny is that I’m happy every time they release something. While it would’ve been nice for them to have a full album, See You Later stood out to me. It built in a great way, had some really nice vocal moments and the drop was SO good – everything I need for a female anthem, and this was indeed one!
- ATEEZ – Twilight
ATEEZ is one of the best things to come out of 2018 and they had such a solid debut that I can’t help but have high expectations for what happens in 2019 for them. This album is really good but Twilight stood out from the rest. It is more upbeat that what usually attracts me but the vocals on top of the break downs in the chorus are SO good. It’s happy, it’s light and you can’t help but dance along to it.
- EXO – Oasis
One of the best songs off Don’t Mess Up My Tempo and it was so close to being in the actual list. While Sign was a song that grew on me, Oasis is a song that I loved instantly. Personally I find it a strange song for them to end on – to me it seems like it would be in the first half or middle of the album but the fact they ended on such a song left me more than content with the album as a whole. A solid end to the an already astounding album.
Now, time for my number one. A lot of you may be a little shocked by this one and are even questioning it but I don’t care. In the grand scheme of things, this song ranks higher than The Truth Untold and Outro: Tear so you can imagine how much I love this song.
1. THE ROSE – Candy (so good)
I know, I know – you’re surprised as hell. Some of you won’t be because I’ve talked about it and recommended it a lot on Twitter. This song is so amazing and I fell in love immediately. I don’t think I would’ve listened to the album if I hadn’t loved their title track Baby so much. The instrumental, THE VOCALS, the harmonies…everything about it is just perfection to me. I have this song both on Spotify as well as on my iTunes and in total, I have listened to this song 217 times, a whole 100 times more than the next highest played song… does that show how much I love the song yet?????
I have absolutely LOVED 2018 for b-sides and if I allowed myself, I would make a top 100 and they would all be astounding songs. Hopefully you all enjoyed my list and you were able to see the kinds of music that stand out to me. If there’s any songs that you also ranked high on your own lists or even if there’s songs or artists you’d never heard of before, let me know down below. I love talking to people about music so never hesitate in messaging me.
If you were interested in listening to this Top 20, not including the 5 extras, check out my Spotify playlist (HERE) and fall in love with these songs like I did.