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The Honey POP’s Favorite K-Pop Songs Of 2022

The Honey POP’s Favorite K-Pop Songs Of 2022

Throughout 2022, our favorite K-Pop artists were consistently giving us amazing new music and visuals that are still living in our heads rent-free! So with the year winding to a close, we at The Honey POP wanted to give a shoutout to some of our favorite releases from the past 12 months. Without further ado, here are THP’s favorite K-Pop songs of 2022!

aespa – ‘Illusion’

aespa rhyming “illusion” with “delicious” wasn’t on our 2022 bingo card, but we’ll take it! The girls surprised us with the pre-release single ‘Illusion’ earlier this year, shortly before releasing their Girls mini-album, and the song instantly became a standout in their catalog. From the moment those sirens kick in for the intro, the track gives you such a rush of adrenaline and showcases the edgy charms that have made aespa such an unstoppable group since their 2020 debut. They’ve taken us all to KWANGYA and back while taking the world by storm, and their breakout success certainly isn’t an illusion. – Madison Murray

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ATEEZ – ‘Don’t Stop’

Powerful, addictive, and upbeat, ‘Don’t Stop’ is a song we can’t get enough of! With the fierce raps and tempo build-up to the beat drop, you are bound to be pulled in. The vocals are outstanding and the music video looks like a cool scene from an action movie. ATEEZ’s talent really shone through with this phenomenal single. – Yuni

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BIGBANG – ‘Still Life’

Leave it to BIGBANG to be radio silent for four years and then explode back onto the music scene with a song like ‘Still Life.’ With no promotion, no interviews, and the band disappearing back into their individual worlds, ‘Still Life’ became a gift to VIP and the general public, with the highest debut EVER by an idol group on MelOn 24Hits, became the fastest-selling single of the decade, and made BIGBANG the Idol Group with the most roofhits both on MelOn and Genie IN TWO DIFFERENT DECADES (‘Loser’ in the 2010s and ‘Still Life’ in the 2020s)

And with a music video as emotional as their fanbase over the comeback, the members of BIGBANG have made sure that their comeback was enough of a masterpiece to carry their fans for another four years if necessary (not that we want that omg)! But with T.O.P headed to the literal moon and promising a solo album, G-Dragon working with people like Baz Luhrman to cover Elvis Presley and working as an ambassador for Chanel, Taeyang hinting at a solo comeback in 2023, and Daesung — well, we have no contact except through his bestie, the YouTuber D’splay — we know that together or solo, the members of BIGBANG are bound to keep us on our toes for at least another decade. And we’re NOT mad about it. – Ibby Morris

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Billlie – ‘GingaMingaYo (the strange world)’

Billlie really took off this year with ‘GingaMingaYo (the strange world),’ a track from their February EP, the collective soul and unconscious: chapter one. If you’re a fan of K-Pop – heck, even if you aren’t – you’ve more than likely heard the track and/or seen the fancam on TikTok. Specifically, of Tsuki, as she showed off her amazing facial expressions throughout the chorus of the track – that video alone garnered 11 million views on YouTube. But that was only part of the appeal for Billlie and ‘GingaMingaYo!’ All the members showed out for this track, with iconic vocals, lyrics, and even the choreo. Plus it gave us more lore for the world of Billlie. We can’t wait to learn more about the story of Billlie in 2023! – Valerie Valdez

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BILLLIE:
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BLACKPINK – ‘Shut Down’

BLACKPINK set the bar for their BORN PINK era high with the pre-release single ‘Pink Venom,’ but the title track, ‘Shut Down,’ was a worthy successor dripping with elegance and the girls’ signature confident vibes. It flexes the group’s colossal success in spite of people “praying for [their] downfall” and invites those very haters to “keep watchin’ [them] shut it down” while they break more records and achieve new heights. Go off, girls! It’s a total shutdown of anything skeptics could possibly say about them and a sleek celebration of how far they’ve come with some help from their devoted Blinks worldwide. – Madison Murray

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BTS – ‘Yet To Come’

BTS’ ‘Yet To Come’ was a heartfelt, earnest ode to the future that came with the release of the band’s first compilation album, Proof. The hopeful lyrics both honored the group’s journey from debut to now and promised a future full of more music, more accomplishments, and more concerts with waves of purple ARMY bombs lighting up the sky. With their signature melding of poetic rap verses and angelic vocals, ‘Yet To Come’ was another iconic moment in the legacy of BTS and a promise between the boys and ARMY that BTS is forever. – Taylor Alexis Heady

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Dreamcatcher – ‘MAISON’

Dreamcatcher’s first comeback of 2022 was one that we simply cannot forget. Not only did they release their second full-length album, but they also released one of their most impactful title tracks: ‘MAISON.’ Dreamcatcher used their voices to raise awareness and spread a very important message – indeed, ‘MAISON’ is all about taking care of the planet. With a catchy and hart hitting chorus, ‘MAISON’ is one of Dreamcatcher’s most special title tracks. What makes it even more special and memorable is that of course ‘MAISON’ earned Dreamcatcher their first-ever win, something that was long overdue. And the day it happened was one of the best days of 2022. – Juu Luquin

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DREAMCATCHER:
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ENHYPEN – ‘Blessed-Cursed’

ENHYPEN slayed 2022 with two killer title tracks, ‘Blessed-Cursed’ and ‘Future Perfect (Pass The MIC).’ Both songs showcased new sides to the group, as evidenced by their performance at MMAs 2022, but there’s a little something special about ‘Blessed-Cursed’ for us. The music video had the perfect 90s-Y2K aesthetic that has been so on-trend in K-Pop this year, whilst also sticking true to ENHYPEN’s group identity. The rock-influenced ‘Blessed-Cursed’ gifted us with some of our fave Enha choreography to date, as well as some of the best boy group outfits of 2022. – Anna Marie

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ENHYPEN:
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(G)I-DLE – ‘Nxde’

(G)I-DLE turned the K-Pop community upside down with their hit single ‘Nxde’ as it promoted female empowerment and loving oneself. The group also wanted to highlight how women are objectified and overly sexualized in the media with ‘Nxde,’ which is a big deal because it’s a taboo topic. One of the most magical things about ‘Nxde’ is that it’s the first partial Korean song by a girl group to play on American radio! So cool, right?

Something notable that should also be mentioned about ‘Nxde’ is that it took over search engines! When people search the word “nude” in Korean, they will most likely find (G)I-DLE’s song rather than inappropriate content of children or women that people search for! Not only did (G)I-DLE bless our ears with their incredible vocals on this track, but they also made this world a better place by releasing ‘Nxde.’ – Asia Moore

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT (G)I-DLE:
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Girls’ Generation – ‘FOREVER 1’

It feels unreal that we get to write about a Girls’ Generation song for this THP feature! But here we are. Girls’ Gen made their highly anticipated and long overdue comeback this year. And the title track was legend worthy. ‘FOREVER 1’ didn’t only reassure Sones that GG is here to stay but it made for the best summer jam. The accompanying music video had us craving the summer sun and being invited to the next pool party. SNSD have never looked better and we sure hope this was not the last comeback for the time being from the girls. – Lina

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GOT The Beat – ‘Step Back’

When we heard that SM Entertainment would be assembling some of their female powerhouses into one group in the form of GOT The Beat, we knew we would be impressed. But none of our expectations could’ve prepared us for just how much ‘Step Back’ swept us off our feet! BoA, SNSD’s Taeyeon and Hyo, Red Velvet’s Wendy and Seulgi, and aespa’s Karina and Winter stepped forward as one of the most anticipated supergroups of the century, proving exactly why GOT stands for Girls On Top. They’re at the top of the game and our hearts, truly bringing us all to “another level” with their vocals and confidence! Fingers crossed we get more music from GOT The Beat soon. – Madison Murray

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GIRLS ON TOP:
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ITZY – ‘Cheshire’

ITZY ended the year on a high with the release of one of their best title tracks ever: ‘Cheshire.’ This song is fun yet dark at the same time, with its cheeky and quirky energy. ‘Cheshire’ is not only pop perfection, but it also embodies everything we love about ITZY – every single side of them. It’s fun and bright, yet it has this eerie undertone to it with its mysterious energy. With such an addictive chorus, only a few weeks after its release, we already know ‘CHESHIRE’ is one of those songs we know we will never forget. – Juu Luquin

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ITZY:
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IVE – ‘Love Dive’

If you’re anything like us at THP, “my God, I love it” isn’t just a lyric – it’s the perfect summary of your reaction anytime IVE does anything. And we have a feeling that’s exactly how you would’ve reacted to hearing ‘Love Dive’ for the first time, since that’s exactly how we reacted on release day! From the pulsing opening beat to those delectable “ooh, ooh-ooh” cascades on the post-chorus, ‘Love Dive’ is just as sweet and addictive as your favorite dessert would be. ‘ELEVEN’ brought IVE forward as one of the breakout stars of K-Pop’s fourth generation, but ‘Love Dive’ sealed the deal and proved they’re monster rookies you’ll fall for one way or another. – Madison Murray

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT IVE:
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Kep1er – ‘Up!’

There’s no denying that rookie girl groups owned K-Pop in 2022, and one of the groups that definitely deserves to be spotlighted is Kep1er! It’s hard to believe that they debuted with mega-hit ‘WA DA DA’ at the start of this year, and that’s not even the song we’ve chosen to talk about – they’re that good. ‘Up!’ is one of the most refreshing and fun K-Pop comebacks this year; the chorus will be stuck in your head for weeks and you won’t even be mad about it. Plus, we couldn’t escape ‘Up!’ on our FYP. Only Kep1er could create a TikTok challenge to rival ‘WA DA DA!’ “I know what I want, I do what I wanna do” and it’s us listening to Kep1er on repeat. – Anna Marie

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Kwon Eunbi – ‘Glitch’

Eunbi didn’t let us down with her first-ever comeback. Her solo debut already had us waiting for her next move, and ‘Glitch’ did not disappoint at all! ‘Glitch’ falls under the retro trend, but in its own unique way, taking inspiration from electronic music and even deep house. It allowed her voice to shine so much and fit her sophisticated image incredibly well. Eunbi truly blew us away with this one and it could never get old! – Juu Luquin

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT KWON EUNBI:
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LE SSERAFIM – ‘ANTIFRAGILE’

We can’t talk about 2022 without talking about LE SSERAFIM and the impact the group and  ‘ANTIFRAGILE’ had on the year. LE SSERAFIM came straight out the gates with ‘FEARLESS,’ but with ‘ANTIFRAGILE,’ it was a whole different story. They really took the K-Pop world by storm with the track, as the dance trended on TikTok and garnered over 78 million views on YouTube. As well as the talent each girl possesses, which is evident during any and all of their ‘ANTIFRAGILE’ stages. We have a confession: we’ve played the track at least twice a day and it even made it on our Top 100 Songs of 2022, so we have no doubt their next track will find a way on the same playlist for 2023! – Valerie Valdez

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LE SSERAFIM:
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Monsta X – ‘LOVE’

Monbebes, how much did you ‘LOVE’ Monsta X’s Shape of Love project this year? We were absolutely thrilled at the release of their mini album, and ‘LOVE’ was all that we expected it to be and more. A mix of funk, jazz, pop, and hip-hop, ‘LOVE’ was definitely one of the most memorable songs of the year. Throughout the song, the tempo and sound change from fast-paced and fun to mysterious and sensual. This glamorous track talking about the members’ love will have you head over heels for them! – Kianna Cruz

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MONSTA X:
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NAYEON – ‘POP!’

One of our 2022 highlights? We finally got a solo album from one of the TWICE ladies! Nayeon released her debut solo project, IM NAYEON, and gifted ONCE (and TikTok) with the title track ‘POP!’ The song is quintessential K-Pop at its very best. It’s bright, fun, and the dance routine was an instant choreo classic! ‘POP!’ and its promo performances also saw Nayeon in some of the best wardrobe styling of 2022. We really hope 2023 brings more opportunities for the women of TWICE to showcase their artistry like this! – Anna Marie

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NAYEON:
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TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TWICE:
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NCT 127 – ‘2 Baddies’

What’s better than one baddie? Obviously, it’s two baddies AND one Porsche, which is something that NCT 127 taught us very quickly. To say this song was catchy is an absolute understatement as we found ourselves humming the tune at some of the most random times. The members put a spin on the NCT 127 vibe fans love with another banger that just proved the group’s versatility, from Jaehyun and Johnny rapping in the first verse to a post-bridge breakdown featuring Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta and Jungwoo. Also, can we talk about how they rhymed “ㅠㅠ” with Blue’s Clues? Iconic. We loved every second of ‘2 Baddies’ and can’t wait to see what 2023 brings for the NCT 127 boys! – Christa

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NCT Dream – ‘Glitch Mode’

NCT Dream began 2022 with another career milestone as 7Dream with their second full-length album, Glitch Mode. The entire era was a huge success for them, even making the group a double million-seller, which later leveled up to a triple million-seller title with the repackage Beatbox – the title track ‘Glitch Mode’ was the key to this huge success. When we first heard ‘Glitch Mode,’ we noticed that NCT Dream’s sound had matured while still preserving youthful elements within the song. From the song’s iconic choreography to the music video, our 7Dream hypnotized us, and still, to this day, we can’t get enough listening to ‘Glitch Mode.’ We don’t know about you, but the track is totally SOTY material for us! – Nazlıcan Ay

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NCT DREAM:
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NewJeans – ‘Attention’

NewJeans were looking for attention, and they got it. Their unexpected arrival to K-Pop shook the community because, without any anticipation, marketing, or introduction, NewJeans released such a memorable song. ‘Attention’ is so iconic that we wanted more without knowing anything about NewJeans! ‘Attention’ is an early 2000s R&B song with irresistible pop elements. The soft instrumentation helps highlight the girls’ feathery vocals without overshadowing them. Since ‘Attention’ is so easy to listen to, it became a staple in our playlists because it fits any situation. ‘Attention’ gave us our first look at NewJeans, and we hope they fill our 2023 with more hits like this! – Tay F

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NEWJEANS:
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NMIXX – ‘COOL (Your rainbow)’

NMIXX have quickly become known for bold, anthemic hits like ‘O.O’ and ‘DICE,’ but they showed a completely different aspect of what they’re capable of with the R&B-infused b-side ‘COOL (Your rainbow).’ Where tracks like ‘TANK’ are energetic and assertive, ‘COOL’ is vulnerable and delicate, seeing the girls urge a lover to confess their true feelings instead of “playing it cool” and hiding their “heart behind the clouds.” The results are simply ethereal, spotlighting their vocals like never before and proving their versatility with a song that’s just as magical as their lively title tracks. If you hear us crying over the “I will stay with you” line now that they’re a six-piece group… no, you didn’t. – Madison Murray

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NMIXX:
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ONEW – ‘DICE’

If we get the opportunity to write about SHINee, you know for sure we will not hesitate. The boys weren’t active as a group this year, but their solo projects had us more than busy. ONEW dropped his second mini album this year, and he is a great vocalist – which ‘Blue’ showed us already. ONEW went for a more pop sound with ‘DICE,’ which still showed off his vocals. We were obsessed with each of these music show stages and the music video was the cherry on top! – Lina

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SHINEE:
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PENTAGON – ‘Sparkling Night’

Pentagon’s entire comeback is one we haven’t been able to move on from – and much less when it comes to ‘Sparkling Night.’ While every single song on IN:VITE U is an absolute masterpiece, ‘Sparkling Night’ has a hold on us that is indescribable. The nostalgic feeling, the metaphor of life as a ferris wheel, the comfort, the warmth, the melodies… everything about it is beautiful and perfect. This song has been there for us since January and remains one of the best b-sides released in 2022. – Juu Luquin

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See Also

PSY & SUGA – ‘That That’

There are few stars in the industry more iconic than PSY and BTS’ SUGA. So when we learned the two were going to join forces earlier this year, we knew we were in for a treat! ‘That That’ marked a new era in PSY’s career – the song literally begins with the line, “2022, PSY coming back” – and we couldn’t have been happier to see him return. Both PSY and SUGA showcase the very best of themselves and their talents in the track, but even though this collab was probably a guaranteed hit, it still exceeded our every expectation! ‘That That’ is a joyous and borderline-silly treat that is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. BRB, we’re gonna go practice the choreo and buy ourselves some purple cowboy boots… – Anna Marie

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PSY:
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YOUTUBE

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BTS:
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE

Red Velvet – ‘Birthday’

Red Velvet were a staple of our playlists throughout the year, starting when they dropped the elegant ‘Feel My Rhythm’ in March. And they stole the show all over again with another comeback in November! ‘Birthday’ was the icing on the cake of RV’s incredible 2022, even offering lyrical nods to tracks like ‘Happiness,’ ‘Dumb Dumb,’ and ‘Ice Cream Cake’ to celebrate how far the girls have come since their debut. Intertwining trap beats with an almost carnival-esque synth, ‘Birthday’ sounds the same way excitement feels, giving us a thrilling joy ride to return to any time we need a boost. Way to end 2022 on a high note! – Madison Murray

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT RED VELVET:
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Secret Number – ‘DOOMCHITA’

Can we tell you a secret that’s not really secret? Secret Number really stole our hearts this year! Between ‘DOOMCHITA’ and the more recent ‘TAP,’ they’re been dominating our playlists and our thoughts. But of those two, we still really have a soft spot for the hard-hitting ‘DOOMCHITA!’ That brass section during the beat drop gets us every time, and the girls’ voices are just as impressive, proving just how dynamic they are as a group. The only way is up, and if tracks like ‘DOOMCHITA’ are any indication, Secret Number will be soaring. – Madison Murray

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SECRET NUMBER:
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SEULGI – ’28 Reasons’

When we finally clicked play on the seulo debut we’d all been waiting for, no one really expected the first lyric to be “I kiss your brother.” But if anyone could pull off something that camp-y in the first seconds of a new song, it’s SEULGI! Our regal Red Velvet superstar turned into an evil queen with a heart made of ice, perfectly balancing “sweet and bitter” while taunting a potential love interest about how powerful she is. It also perfectly introduced the main concept of her mini-album of the same name, which explores the good and evil that can coexist within us and the good and evil we perceive in others. But if ‘28 Reasons’ is any indication, we really think SEULGI can do no wrong when it comes to her art. – Madison Murray

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SEULGI:
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TO LEARN MORE ABOUT RED VELVET:
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SEVENTEEN – ‘HOT’

Name one thing hotter than SEVENTEEN this year? Oh wait, you can’t! We’ve loved every second of SVT content we’ve gotten this year, and the highlight, of course, has to be the smash hit ‘HOT.’ The song saw SEVENTEEN take over the globe even further with another performance on Jimmy Kimmel, as well as their BE THE SUN world tour. Plus, at this point, who doesn’t know that choreo? ‘HOT’ perfectly encapsulates SEVENTEEN whilst also standing out against everything else on our playlists right now. They said “this song’s burnin’ like HOT” and they meant it. – Anna Marie

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SEVENTEEN:
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STAYC – ‘RUN2U’

If we’re talking about iconic 2022 releases, we can’t miss STAYC’s ‘RUN2U.’ This might be STAYC’s best release – counting both title tracks and b-sides. They really didn’t hold back with this one! ‘RUN2U’ is so addictive and unique, and it embodies what good music should be. We could never get tired of this song – each part is iconic and an absolute masterpiece. Truly, this is what great music is all about! – Juu Luquin

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT STAYC:
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Stray Kids – ‘MANIAC’

‘MANIAC’ by Stray Kids was released at the beginning of the year, and yet it remains one of the most iconic releases of 2022. This song has it all: addictive verses, an unforgettable choreography, and an anti-drop that remains so impactful with every single listen. ‘MANIAC’ was Stray Kids perfecting the sound we love, taking it to a whole other level, and exploring new sounds, creating this truly unique and irreplicable song. And honestly, the same goes for each b-side on ODDINARY! Apart from having a blast when listening to ‘MANIAC,’ it is also such a masterpiece in its composition and production. ‘MANIAC’ is definitely one of those songs that made 2022 the incredible year it was when it comes to music. – Juu Luquin

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT STRAY KIDS:
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SUHO – ‘Grey Suit’

Nature healed for the first time when EXO’s leader Suho was discharged from the military, and when he finally announced his solo comeback, it healed again. SUHO always puts so much love and thought into his solo music and it pays off – ‘Grey Suit’ was the perfect follow-up to ‘Let’s Love.’ We were ascending when his vocals hit, and b-side ‘Hurdle’ gave us the groove we always needed SUHO to channel and show off. – Lina

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EXO:
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YOUTUBE

TAEYEON – ‘INVU’

Taeyeon was our perfect Valentine when she dropped her 3rd album, INVU, back in February. As one of the most iconic stars and formidable vocalists in the industry, she did not disappoint! Title track ‘INVU’ is equal parts serene and euphoric, with one of the best chorus drops this year. The music video is next-level too, with jaw-dropping visuals and choreo that took over idol TikTok! Combine Taeyeon’s vocal prowess with that 80s pulsating production, and you have yourself a perfect pop hit. – Anna Marie

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TAEYEON:
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TOMORROW X TOGETHER – ‘Good Boy Gone Bad’

There’s no denying that ‘Good Boy Gone Bad’ has been one of the most prolific songs of 2022, and further established TOMORROW X TOGETHER as 4th Gen It Boys! The track saw TXT take a departure from their magical +Universe, but nonetheless gave MOA plenty of details to obsess over. Taken from Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child, TXT’s first album to have over a million preorders, ‘Good Boy Gone Bad’ seamlessly and intricately blended rock and hip-hop influences, something few artists can do as well as TXT can! – Anna Marie

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TXT:
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TIKTOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE

TWICE – ‘Talk That Talk’

TWICE could never disappoint and ‘Talk That Talk’ was the embodiment of everything that is good in life. It was bright, fun, catchy, and quite literally pop perfection. The song was made even better by its performance and just how much energy they put into it. Truly, seeing how much these girls love to perform together makes their music even better, and ‘Talk That Talk’ makes their energy and passion so addictive. Seriously, it’s impossible to listen to ‘Talk That Talk’ and not feel an immense wave of happiness. That’s TWICE for you! – Juu Luquin

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TWICE:
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | YOUTUBE

Wow, what a year for music! What were your favorite K-Pop songs this year? Did your faves make our list? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! And for more recaps of the 2022 music scene, click here.

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