SPICA returned in 2016 and flew right under the radar

Wading past the opening five tracks that snuck into the list out of the hundreds under consideration, we move on to the next ten. The number 35 was chosen somewhat arbitrarily, mostly after figuring the steepest drop off of the top thirty or forty was after #35.

 

 

#29: "Monster" - Exo

SM Entertainment's main boy band continued to release inventive and compelling pop in 2016. Their smash hit "Monster" was perhaps the most memorable of all of them. Here's the dance practice version.

#28: "Shut Up" - The Unnies

View music videos have a full-fledged reality show to document their production from start to finish. Such was the case for "Shut Up," a song performed by the stars of the reality show "Sister's Slam Dunk," SNSD's underrated Tiffany Hwang, rapper Jessi, actress Ra Mi-ran, comedian Kim Sook, celebrity and entrepreneur Hong Jin-kyung, and model/singer Min Hyo-rin. The song, produced by the irrepressible JYP, was a uniquely comedic and catchy romp.

#27: "Baby Baby" - Winner

YG's eclectic retro-styled boy band Winner provided a couple of interesting hits in 2016, including the wistful R&B ballad, "Baby Baby."

#26: "Amazing" - Bada

Still sounding fantastic, KPop pioneer and former S.E.S vocalist Bada released a tasteful 20th anniversary album that included this little disco gem.

#25: "Love Paint (This Afternoon)" - NU'EST

After the mysterious disappearance of their supergroups Afterschool and Orange Caramel, Pledis's prettyboy group NU'EST has forged one of the more unique boyband sounds, merging smooth pop, R&B and even a little jazz, sung with strong lead vocals from Hwang Min Hyun and Kang Dong Ho along with lush harmonies. This track came from their fifth EP Canvas.

#24: "Secret Time" - SPICA

Once considered the vocal queens of KPop, SPICA reappeared in 2016, albeit more under the radar than they'd hoped. Just the same, their vocal prowess sounded as sharp and tight as ever, with their retro-powered disco number "Secret Time."

#23: "TT" - Twice

Sure, if this was a list for teenagers, this next song would be way, way, way higher. But our list is for all ages, and geared toward international or English-speaking listeners, so it might be overlooked as a cute piece of bubblegum. But "TT" from JYP's huge aegyo monster group Twice, is easily their best work yet and a remarkable song, definitely worth a listen on most any playlist. And where else will you find Momo dressed as Tinkerbell?

#22: "Feel Like Yesterday" - MC Sniper X Song Rapper X Vido Sung Woo

This is a rare little indie gem featuring a collaboration between controversial rapper MC Sniper (Kim Jung Yoo) and two unknowns, Vido Sung Woo and a fellow known simply as "Song Rapper."

#21: "Oh NaNa" - K.A.R.D with Young Ji

DSP Media's attempt to regain relevance after the disbandment of supergroup KARA led them to create one of the few co-ed pop groups in KPop, K.A.R.D. Their pre-debut release, featuring former KARA replacement member Young Ji is completely addictive.