Doing an end of year list is hard enough, let alone an end of decade one. They usually start off innocently enough, but before you know it you’re ripping your eyeballs out after spending hours listening to every single song from the last ten years. What started as a passion project soon becomes a living hell.
When thinking about my own 2010s list of the best K-pop songs, I was torn in what approach to take. Do I go for personal favourites, even the obscure stuff, or do I go for the big iconic hits? How much time do I spend on it? Before I could even fall down the rabbit role, I decided to do a rushed list filled with the first songs that came to mind.
I don’t want to torture myself and labor over every choice, so this list is just stuff that popped into my head for the most part. My criteria was simple: Which songs are memorable and make me feel something when I listen to them?
I think of AOA’s “Miniskirt”, arguably the best single of the Brave Brothers era. Then there’s INFINITE’s “The Chaser”, the greatest ’80s pop song not released in the ’80s. There’s STELLAR’s “Marionette”, a song that embodies the very best and the very worst of the K-pop sexy trend, or BEAST’s “Beautiful Night”, the ultimate feel-good party anthem that pre-dated other classics like SHINee’s “View”.
This is in no way a comprehensive, definitive list of the best the 2010s had to offer. I’m sure I’m missing dozens and dozens of epic tracks, and my own bias has hugely influenced some of the choices too, but this is what I got off the top of my head when reflecting on the decade. They’re in no particular order.
Please let me know your personal favourites from the last decade below.