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Teri’s Top KPOP Singles of 2016 – The Men

Man, what a year in KPOP it was and we still have a month left in 2016! We had such a great time doing our year end wrap up video last year, we decided that we’re going to do it again. We’re going break down what some of our favorite KPOP songs this month kicking it off with the male artists/groups! Both Cheryl and I tend to listen to more male than female KPOP singers so it was a task to trim down this list for me. Nevertheless, in no particular order, here are my top male KPOP singles of 2016!

SHINee “Tell Me What To Do” November
I think it’s becoming a pattern where I tend to gravitate towards SHINee’s repackaged single more than the initial album. It happened with Married to the Music and now Tell Me What To Do. I LOVE damn near everything about this comeback. The song. The styling. The MV. Only thing that throws it off is Minho’s rap. It felt oddly paced until Key’s rapping jumps in to bring it back up to speed. It was definitely a record scratch moment for me at least.

FTISLAND “Take Me Now” July
If you were to ask me for a favorite 2016 song off the top of my head this immediately pops up. As some of you may not know, but FTISLAND is one of my FAVORITE groups, and their past two albums have been everything I’ve wanted from them and more. Similar to PRAY FTI embraces their rocker sides and I liiiiive for it. Newer fans may not be familiar with their Japanese releases but this is more in line with that style. The rapid drums and bass make for a super intense intro along with the high contrast reds and blues against the black in the video. Not to mention the lyrics are heavy on the English (especially that chorus!) so it makes for a great song to shout/sing along with. Fingers crossed FTISLAND brings their The Truth LIVE Tour to the US in 2017.

Beast “리본 (Ribbon)” July
BEAST holds a special place in my heart as they, along with 2PM and MBLAQ, rekindled my love for KPOP in 2009. So Hyunseung’s departure was a lil rough and I actually avoided this video up until maybe a month ago. It’s bittersweet and melodramatic as hell; those violin strings might as well be my heart strings! I didn’t immediately like it, but obviously that’s changed as it made it’s way on my list. While their other track Butterfly had better lyrics I just don’t find myself listening to ballads very often. In the end both tracks were a nice send off to Hyunseung and the old BEAST. Lets hope we get a new album sooner rather than later.

GOT7 “Fly” March
Just like last year I had to include a GOT7 comeback. This was probably the first song of the year that got me HOOKED. The teasers were intriguing and we right away noticed that their promo and marketing art were this year’s Pantone colors; Rose Quartz and Serenity. I was also a little obsessed with their bomber jackets and even bought a coral pink in April. The video is energetic and the choreography is fun (it gave me serious 2PM Take Off vibes). But while the hand camera footage was cute is was a little jarring and felt shoehorned in.Looking forward to their return to the states next month for their US Fanmeet Tour put on by SubK next month.

BAP “Feel So Good” February
This is probably the most upbeat song on my list and to be completely honest I kind of hated this song when it first came out. I think I have an instant aversion to super sugary poppy songs from groups that are known for their more intense and aggressive hits. Either way after watching BAP perform it at their concert this year I started warming up to it’s bubblegum cheeriness and it’s been getting stuck in my head ever since.

NELL “Dreamcatcher” August
NELL is forever an audio and visual treat for me and their Dreamcatcher title track of their ‘C’ album is no different. They always deliver strong melancholy songs and I felt like that’s what my state of mind was half the time this year. So while it’s a downer this song has a sense of hope and encouragement to keep going. The MV is also a great experimental yet simple style of editing that doesn’t take away from the song. I just want more NELL all the time. Thanks!

BTS “피 땀 눈물 (Blood Sweat & Tears)” October
I’m not an ARMY. I’ve know that BTS is talented and have put out good songs in the past (Bulletproof is forever a jam!). I’ve had friends trying to convert me for over 2 years. I get it. I just never got in to that fandom. But wow, Blood Sweat & Tears was fantastic! That cathedral choir opening threw me for a moment but they switched it up with that Ouran Host Club-esque group shot real quick. The video had such a variety of colorful sets to play around with and had so many beautifully framed shots. It was a literal feast for the eyes. Hands down one of my all time favorite releases of BTS….. But I still can’t get over the whole kissing the angel statue bit, it’s so goofy to me.


2PM “Promise (I’ll Be)” September
Oh, 2PM. I was SO hyped for this comeback. I was so curious what the hell JYPE meant by “boyfriend” concept and I prayed it didn’t mean bulky sweaters. I’m a sucker for suits and the teasers were reeling me in. My concerns were unfounded. The song was good, had it on repeat. Music video felt a little off. But how I wish you had done Uneasy as your title track instead. Promise will suffice, but this is why it’s only an honorable mention.

B1A4 “거짓말이야 (A Lie)” November
This release snuck up on me! I hadn’t anticipated B1A4 coming back before the end of the year after 15+ months since Sweet Girl. I’m so happy they did though since they delivered a strong mature album and a lovely MV for their title track. I had to watch it a couple times to see the plot cause I was overwhelmed by the tumblr atheistic of how pretty everything was shot. B1A4 rarely disappoints and A Lie hit me right in the feels in a good way.

Taemin “さよならひとり (Goodbye)” July
Final honorable mention. Okay I know this is technically a Japanese single HOWEVER Taemin did release and perform a Korean version on Music Bank and Hit the Stage! so it still counts! Barely but it still counts and damnit I LOVE this song. The MV is a little cornball with the CG backgrounds but his dancing is so captivating I’m willing to forgive it. Not to mention he gave me major Ghibli/Howl’s Moving Castle vibes. Doesn’t help that he cosplayed Howl for Halloween last year.

Okay that was hard, but even though some of my favorites like VIXX, U-KISS and even Se7en released music this year their title tracks just didn’t really grab me the way they used to. Maybe next year! If you’re curious about what we picked for some of our top favorites of 2015, you can find those HERE!

Got a 2016 single on repeat done by your favorite KPOP boys? Did it appear on this list? Who’s missing? Tell us about it below or tweet me @teriarchibbles.

KPOPmaps is a column about KPOP, but without the assistance of GPS.

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