It’s been a rollercoaster of a year for K-pop fans.
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Tons of brilliant comebacks have been made this year, from many of our favorite acts — old and new — releasing some of their best music yet, with a myriad of themes and messages. Picking up on the topic of the best K-pop songs that have nothing to do with romantic love, here are eight more songs from 2022 to add to the list!
1. Dreamcatcher – “Maison”
I hear you InSomnia — and so, kicking things off is Dreamcatcher’s latest title track “Maison,” a passionate cry to save the earth. Though the K-pop rock queens have always boasted artful and emotional lyricism in their music, the message in “Maison” to protect mother nature might just be their most meaningful and relevant yet, and I can’t wait to see how they outdo this on the next chapter of their “Apocalypse” album series!
2. LE SSERAFIM – “The Great Mermaid”
LE SSERAFIM fearlessly burst onto the scene earlier this year, with a debut mini-album of empowering hits to boot. Among these is the ferocious “The Great Mermaid,” in which the rookie girl group takes a bold new spin on the tale of “The Little Mermaid,” declaring that there is no way in hell they would give up their voices for “no love, no golden prince,” its chorus crashing down like a sweeping tidal wave.
3. SHINee’s Key – “Gasoline”
A little bragging never hurt anybody, and with nearly 15 years of experience under his belt, SHINee’s Key has more than earned his stripes. With a flourish of bold brass motifs in his new title track “Gasoline,” the K-pop all-rounder rightfully boasts of his innovation and talent, promising (and proving!) that in the end, he will always deliver.
4. Girls’ Generation – “Forever 1”
Well worth the wait, K-pop’s most iconic girl group finally reunited for their seventh full-length album and single “Forever 1,” a heartfelt dedication to themselves and their fans. Bringing many fans to bittersweet tears than any love song ever has, this charming classic pop hit is a celebration of each member’s journey, assuring each other and SONEs that no matter how far you go, you will always find a home with Girls’ Generation.
5. BLACKPINK – “Pink Venom”
On the topic of long-awaited reunions, powerhouses BLACKPINK is back and more confident than ever with their first new music in nearly two years. Foreshadowing their world domination with upcoming album “Born Pink” and a massive new tour, BLACKPINK pulls us in with their infectious new title track, promising a taste of that “Pink Venom.”
6. Kang Daniel – “Parade”
Raising a toast to differences and imperfections, Kang Daniel celebrates life in the soulful “Parade,” a reflection of his loyalty to the idea of staying true to oneself. This is but one song in his introspective, honest discography that deals with feeling like an outsider in this world (“Misunderstood” and “Loser” are two other great tracks). “Parade” sparks a beautiful sense of hope, inspiring us all to embrace who we are.
7. PURPLE KISS – “Nerdy”
Another ode to being different, rookie girl group PURPLE KISS’s “Nerdy” is a refreshing burst of confidence, playfully sticking it to those who would tease them for who they are. “Yes, I’m a nerd, I’m a stubborn freak,” they gleefully admit, wearing the insult as a badge of honor. If only we could all be this nonchalant in the face of judgement!
8. ENHYPEN – “Future Perfect (Pass The MIC)”
Welcoming an unapologetic new era, ENHYPEN’s “Future Perfect (Pass The MIC)” celebrates their coming-of-age as an act two years into their career. As its title suggests, this dynamic new track is all about the days to come, and the group promises fans that their next chapter will be one full of excitement and thrill!