Genius Korea Names The 25 Best K-Pop B-Sides Of 2022

Genius Korea has excellent taste 👌

The year-end lists of the best K-Pop music released in 2022 wouldn’t be complete without a contribution from Genius Korea! They’ve shared a list of their 25 best K-Pop B-sides from the past year, and as always, they proved they have great taste! Here’s their countdown of the best non-title tracks in K-Pop from 2022.

25. “Young Luv” by STAYC

“Young Luv” was released on STAYC’s YOUNG-LUV.COM album, which sold 247k copies with the title song “RUN2U”, on February 21.

A sublime gem from the eponymous mini-album, this B-side is just as ethereal as you expect it to be. It’s not often that STAYC dabbles in the pop-rock genre, so it leaves you wanting more when their soothing croons pair with the subtle strums of an electric guitar.

— Genius Korea

24. “Danny” by Lee Chaeyeon

“Danny” was released on Chaeyeon’s Hush Rush album, which sold 36.6k copies with the title song “Hush Rush”, on October 12.

Chaeyeon’s breathy vocals are a perfect match for the 80s synth-pop melody. Singing about a lost love, “Danny” is a perfectly balanced pop song where both the singer and the arrangement shines, making it a beautiful track to listen to.

— Genius Korea

23. “Real Game (Like Messi)” by Lee Minhyuk

“Real Game (Like Messi)” was released on Minhyuk’s Boom album, which sold 36.5k copies with the title song “Boom”, on June 27.

HUTA’s intense rapping keeps bumping the energy even higher that is already present in the song’s production especially the chorus. While HUTA is also known for his vocals, it was nice to hear his powerful raps on the track once again.

— Genius Korea

22. “Distance” by HEIZE (ft. I.M)

“Distance” was released on HEIZE’s Undo album, which sold 1.1k copies with the title song “Undo”, on June 30.

Singing about trying to move on from a relationship, “거리마다 (Distance)” is a smooth R&B song and uses an intriguing distortion as a sample. The duo’s tones work perfectly together making it a stand out track on HEIZE’s album Undo.

— Genius Korea

21. “Don’t Care About Me” by GOT7

“Don’t Care About Me” was released on GOT7’s GOT7 album, which sold 458k copies with the title song “NANANA”, on May 23.

“Don’t Care About Me,” composed by Jinyoung and Yugyeom, combines trap and synth-pop melodies that drop during the pre-chorus to masterfully introduce an electric guitar riff. The harmonization goes perfectly with the angsty lyrics that detail the group’s struggle and eventual triumph.

— Genius Korea

20. “Strawberry Cake” by Xdinary Heroes

“Strawberry Cake” was released on Xdinary Heroes’ Hello, World! album, which sold 65.0k copies with the title song “Test Me”, on July 20.

The song is a fun and witty take on the concept of strawberry cake which is a metaphor for a lover who acts sweet but is fake. While having a cute title, the lyrics which are co-written by the members, are quite sad and have a mysterious aura to them.

— Genius Korea

19. “The Great Mermaid” by LE SSERAFIM

“The Great Mermaid” was released on LE SSERAFIM’s FEARLESS album, which sold 416k copies with the title song “FEARLESS”, on May 2.

LE SSERAFIM has proven since their debut that they will not sacrifice their personal desires to please anyone, they’ll continue to live their life as they’d like. “The Great Mermaid” should attest to the quintet’s strong aura and eagerness to be fearless in a heavily-opinionated society.

— Genius Korea

18. “Cure” by The Rose

“Cure” was released on The Rose’s Heal album, which sold 32.0k copies with the title song “Sour”, on October 7.

The song is especially clever in making use of its chorus and post-chorus, where the guitars and the gang vocals create an anthemic chorus, like many arena-rock songs. This also helps to spread the message of the song loud and wide—to accept the things out of our control.

— Genius Korea

17. “VolKno” by TREASURE

“VolKno” was released on TREASURE’s The Second Step: Chapter Two album, which sold 569k copies with the title song “HELLO”, on October 4.

Never going to be just satisfied, they dream to reach the top, but at the same time always remind each other to stay humble. With tracks like “VolKno,” there is no doubt they will reach the top very easily.

— Genius Korea

16. “Locked Inside A Door” by Dreamcatcher

“Locked Inside A Door” was released on Dreamcatcher’s Apocalypse: Save Us album, which sold 142k copies with the title song “MAISON”, on April 12.

With similarities to their amazing B-sides, “Jazz Bar,” and “Black Or White”, the song uses stripped-back instruments to let the members’ voices take center stage. The strained funk-rock elements in the song go perfectly with the helplessness the song talks about, a story of being trapped with worries and lacking energy and emotions.

— Genius Korea

15. “Taste” by Stray Kids

“Taste” was released on Stray Kids’ MAXIDENT album, which sold 3.03 million copies with the title song “Case 143”, on October 7.

The low 808’s mixed with the melodic feel of the keys mixing with Hyunjin and Lee Know’s voices add to the overall vibe, the lyrics use wordplay with colors for an added layer to the already sexy lyrics. Felix’s signature deep vocals add a mysterious and dark tone to the song amplifying it further.

— Genius Korea

14. “Time Lapse” by NCT 127

“Time Lapse” was released on NCT 127’s 2 Baddies album, which sold 1.98 million copies with the title song “2 Baddies”, on September 16.

Starting off slow before picking up the pace, “Time Lapse” contains many beautiful production elements which put focus on the stunning vocal harmonies of the group. Amplifying the emotions are the sensual lyrics written by Taeyong and Mark, making it one of the best songs of the year.

— Genius Korea

13. “Change” by (G)I-DLE

“Change” was released on (G)I-DLE’s I Love album, which sold 779k copies with the title song “Nxde”, on October 17.

It’s a vehement B-side that allows listeners the opportunity to understand their world through their lens. Even though it’s heavy, (G)I-DLE’s candid and bilingual track should be heard by all.

— Genius Korea

12. “The Game” by PENTAGON

“The Game” was released on PENTAGON’s In:vite U album, which sold 102k copies with the title song “Feelin’ Like”, on January 24.

With an operatic intro inspired by an actual opera aria, “The Game” by PENTAGON is one hell of a B-side. Thriving on the intensity from both rock and EDM synths, “The Game” becomes an epic dance track filled with choir chanting and literary references in its lyrics.

— Genius Korea

11. “Opening Sequence” by TXT

“Opening Sequence” was released on TXT’s Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child album, which sold 1.79 million copies with the title song “Good Boy Gone Bad”, on May 9.

As an alternative R&B ballad, “Opening Sequence” by TOMORROW X TOGETHER compares the moment of parting for the first time to the ‘opening sequence’ of a movie that unfolds in a flashback. Co-written by Hueningkai and Taehyun, “Opening Sequence” depicts the denial stage of grief.

— Genius Korea

10. “MVSK” by Kep1er

“MVSK” was released on Kep1er’s First Impact album, which sold 395k copies with the title song “WA DA DA”, on January 3.

Composed of EDM genres like disco and house, this dance track becomes more addictive as the song goes on. “MVSK” is an invitation to an otherworldly universe created by Kep1er that brings out the truth and reality hidden behind a mask.

— Genius Korea

9. “Ash” by SEVENTEEN

“Ash” was released on SEVENTEEN’s Face The Sun album, which sold 2.98 million copies with the title song “HOT”, on May 27.

The album closer for SEVENTEEN’s fourth full-length album, Face The Sun, “Ash” juxtaposes the end and beginning of their adventures. SEVENTEEN talks about pushing boundaries, burning everything that traps them, and leaving only ashes that will eventually form a new world.

— Genius Korea

8. “COOL (Your Rainbow)” by NMIXX

“COOL (Your Rainbow)” was released on NMIXX’s ENTWURF album, which sold 552k copies with the title song “Dice”, on September 19.

The vocal arrangement is satisfying to the ears, allowing all members of NMIXX to shine with plenty of room to croon in a gentle soundscape. What’s fascinating is that the B-side that personifies weather conditions to raw human emotions.

— Genius Korea

7. “Cyberpunk” by ATEEZ

“Cyberpunk” was released on ATEEZ’s The World EP.1: Movement album, which sold 1.00 million copies with the title song “Guerrilla”, on July 29.

The psychedelic-trance EDM track, “Cyberpunk” by ATEEZ comes very close to the euphonic excellence that was “Take Me Home” and “MIST.” The lyrics refer to dazzling lights and neon colors, all elements associated with the cyberpunk genre.

— Genius Korea

6. “Run BTS” by BTS

“Run BTS” was released on BTS’s PROOF album, which sold 3.39 million copies with the title song “Yet To Come”, on June 10.

Released as part of their massive anthology Proof, “Run BTS” by BTS is a walk down memory lane for the boys themselves and for ARMY of all generations. The sound is very reminiscent of early Bangtan, with a heavy emphasis on rap and hip hop elements.

— Genius Korea

5. “I Hated Myself (Tablo’s Word)” by Epik High

“I Hated Myself (Tablo’s Word)” was released on Epik High’s Epik High Is Here, Part 2 album, which sold 8.9k copies, on February 14.

Accompanied by a mellow arrangement, “I Hated Myself (Tablo’s Word)” shares mournful sentiments that were fueled not only by sadness but also anger. Lack of self-love is something that many unfortunately struggle with, and Tablo stepping up and discussing it may help someone feel a little less lonely.

— Genius Korea

4. “Pretty Psycho” by PURPLE KISS

“Pretty Psycho” was released on PURPLE KISS’s memeM album, which sold 36.1k copies with the title song “memeM”, on March 29.

The falsettos and the infectious bassline make it a solid B-side worthy of being a title track. In just two years, we have seen PURPLE KISS build one of the most interesting yet fun discographies by any K-pop girl group of their generation, and “Pretty Psycho” is one of the crown jewels of their shiny tiara.

— Genius Korea

3. “Queen Of Hearts” by TWICE

“Queen Of Hearts” was released on TWICE’s Between 1&2 album, which sold 1.12 million copies with the title song “Talk That Talk”, on August 26.

A striking empowerment anthem like this can turn anyone’s somber mood into a glowing beam of energy. Penning a B-side that thanks their fans for their endless support, TWICE’s “Queen of Hearts” has such unfathomable and incandescent energy that can only be taken in sonically.

— Genius Korea

2. “Los Angeles” by Seulgi

“Los Angeles” was released on Seulgi’s 28 Reasons album, which sold 241k copies with the title song “28 Reasons”, on October 4.

One stand-out track is “Los Angeles,” which features Seulgi’s signature haunting vocals and a dark EDM beat. A perfect track for LA’s bustling nightlife, “Los Angeles” is a highlight on the album because of its EDM production and how well Seulgi fits on it.

— Genius Korea

1. “= (Equal Sign)” by J-Hope

“= (Equal Sign)” was released on J-Hope’s Jack in the Box album, which sold 542k copies with the title song “MORE”, on July 15.

“= (Equal Sign)” is truly a track that only Hobi could deliver with such sincerity and love. The mixed English and Korean lyrics speak of love and acceptance of everyone no matter what. He warns of the danger of hate ‘paralyzing’ our minds and that it really does cost nothing to be kind.

— Genius Korea

Source: Genius Korea
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