SPECIAL: Top 10 Songs Of 2010 (1st Half)


We have already passed the half way point of 2010, and it is time again to summarize the top k-pop songs in the last six months, based on their performances on our weekly SOOMPI chart.  Just like the year end ranking, the half year ranking is calculated based on each songs’ accumulated weekly scores, plus factors including its chart position, its competition level on each week, and a seasonal adjustment to award songs which are released later in the year.


We came up with 10 songs in which 8 of them had been No. 1 songs this year, and the other two songs had stayed on our charts for a long time.


1. Kara – 루팡 (Lupin)   *** 2010 Half Year No. 1 song ***

Score: 5803
Genre: Pop / Dance
Music: Han Jae Ho, Kim Seung Soo / Lyrics: Song Soo Yoon
Album: Kara mini-album Vol. 3 Track 2 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: Kara did it again!  After surprisingly winning the top female group on our last year’s Soompi Gayo Award, Kara continues their strong showing on our chart, winning the top spot on our 2010 half-year chart. The title song “Lupin” is from their 3rd mini-album of the same name. Kara vowed to return to a more fierce image on this mini-album, a concept that did not fare too well when they used it on their debut album. But that was then — and this is now. Kara has developed a large and loyal fan base now and fans are more receptive of their change in concept this time.  Congratulations to Kara on another milestone.



2. CNBlue – 외톨이야 (Loner)
Score: 5545
Genre: Rock
Music: Kim Do Hoon, Lee Sang Ho / Lyrics: Han Sung Ho, Amen
Album: CNBlue 1st mini-album “Bluetory” Track 1 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: Already a runaway favorite from being on this year’s best new artist, CNBlue adds to their impressive resume with their debut song “Loner”, ranked No. 2 on our half year chart. Having debuted in Japan as an indie artist, and also having front man Jung Yong Hwa star in the popular SBS drama “You Are Beautiful” last year, CNBlue is returning home to Korea to release their first mini-album. “Loner” was composed by Kim Do Hoon and Lee Sang Ho. It has addictive beats and a strong melody. One can say that this is a song only CNBLUE can express. Despite plagiarism accusations swirling around this song, it doesn’t affect its popularity.  “Loner” spent three weeks on top of our chart earlier this year, and CNBlue’s latest hit “Love” has been No. 1 for the last four weeks and counting.  That is very impressive for a rookie group.



3. 2AM – 죽어도 못 보내 (Can’t Send You Even If I Die)
Score: 5220
Genre: Pop Ballad
Music + Lyrics: Bang Shi Hyuk
Album: 2AM mini-album “Can’t Send You Even If I Die” Track 2 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: No longer living under the shadow of brother group 2PM, 2AM finally shines in the first half of 2010 with two No. 1 songs on our chart, including their first ever “Can’t Send You Even If I Die”, which is ranked No. 3 overall in our half year chart. This song is the title track of 2AM’s third mini album. The 4 sweet voices of 2AM meet ballad hit maker and song writer Hitmen Bang Shi-hyuk in this song that grabbed much attention. The lyrics are about a man who can’t let his lover go, accompanied by a dynamic dance rhythm and beautiful melody.



4. T-Ara – 너 때문에 미쳐 (Crazy Because Of You)
Score: 4852
Genre: Pop / Dance
Music: Cho Young Soo, Kim Tae Hyun / Lyrics: Wheesung
Album: T-Ara Vol. 1 Repackaged Version Track 1 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: Debuting last year in which many girl groups emerged, T-Ara had a strong showing late last year and continued to do well in the first half of 2010 by scoring two No. 1 songs: “Bo Beep Bo Beep” and this song, “Crazy Because Of You”, which is No. 4 on our half year top 10.  This song was made by an all-star combination: co-composed by Jo Young Soo and Kim Tae Hyun and penned by Wheesung. This dance track has a pop feel with electronic sounds. Tiara’s sexy transformation into witches and their intense sounds are attention-grabbing.



5. Hot Potato – 고백 (Confession)
Score: 4667
Genre: Rock Ballad
Music: Hot Potato / Lyrics: Kim C
Album: Hot Potato “Seesaw OST” Track 3 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: Perhaps the most surprising hit song so far in 2010 comes from veteran rock duo Hot Potato, led by the famous Kim C. They are at No. 5 on our half year chart with “Confession”.  This is the title track of Hot Potato’s 5th full length album, “Seesaw”. This song has a great combination of upbeat shuffle rhythm and string instrumentals. The lyrics are about feeling happy and nervous before making a confession of love. Completely different from Hot Potato’s usual progressive music, you will find “Confession” quite lovely. This is the highest ranked non-No. 1 song in the half year ranking, and “Confession” is still in the top 10 now, so we may see this song ranked even higher at the year end chart and perhaps a nomination for “Song Of The Year”.



6. Lee Hyori – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Score: 4568
Genre: Pop / Dance

Album: Lee Hyori Vol. 4 Track 3 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: Lee Hyori is No. 6 on our half year chart with “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The queen of K-Pop, Lee Hyori has returned this year with her fourth studio album, “H-Logic”. Known for setting trends as well as being a pop icon, Hyori has returned after two years with a “well-made” album consisting of 14 new tracks. H-Logic is supposed to consist of “real sound” as it was produced by composer Ryan Jhun of Marcan Entertainment, known for working in New York, and Bahnus who has made his name known in Europe as well as the United States. The two have worked in composition as well as making their own sounds with instruments. The title track “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is written by none other than the singer herself, as Hyori reveals her songwriting talent.



7. Rain – 널 붙잡을 노래 (Love Song)
Score: 4564
Genre: Pop Ballad

Album: Rain special album “Back To The Basic” Track 1 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: Perhaps the most well known hallyu representative all over the world, Rain returned back home and released a mini-album, “Back To The Basic.”  This time he used the ballad “Love Song” as the title track.  It is a beautiful song with piano accompaniment with music and lyrics written by Rain himself. The sad ballad has touching lyrics about a man who is trying to convince his lover not to leave. Actress Han Ye-seul has perfect chemistry with Rain in the music video. It is ranked No. 7 on our half year top 10.



8. SNSD – Oh!
Score: 4407
Genre: Pop / Dance
Music: Kenzie / Lyrics: Kim Jung Bae, Kim Young Hoo
Album: SNSD Vol. 2 Track 1 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: With two No. 1 songs in the first half of 2010, SNSD again shows their girl power.  The title song “Oh!” of their 2nd full length album of the same name is ranked No. 8 on our half year top 10.  This song is composed by Kenzie. It is of the electronic pop genre and is about confessing to a crush in a cute and honest way.  SNSD members often wears colorful sport outfits when performing this song.



9. Secret – Magic
Score: 4168
Genre: Pop / Dance

Album: Secret 1st mini-album “Secret Time” Track 2 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: Lost in the shadow of all the girl groups who debuted last year, Secret is a very talented group that perhaps only their fans know.  They finally emerged and became well known in 2010 with the song “Magic” and made it to our half year top 10 as one of only two songs without hitting No. 1.  “Magic” is an electronic pop dance number that was written by the hit-makers Kang Ji-won, Kim Ki-beom and Sinsadong Horangi. The extravagant beats  and the repetitive chorus make this song very addictive. It represents Secret’s new music style and features enrapturing choreography.



10. 2PM – Without You
Score: 4081
Genre: Pop / Dance
Music + Lyrics: Park Jin Young
Album: 2PM single Vol. 3 “Don’t Stop, Can’t Stop” Track 2 Purchase this album
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: After winning nearly every award they were nominated last year, 2PM is back with another No. 1 song this year with “Without You” that just made it to our first half top 10.  This is the title track of 2PM’s 3rd single album, “Don’t Stop Can’t Stop.” It’s a House song about a man recovering after being hurt by his lover’s lies and betrayal. Its unique sound is from the combination of sounds from an analog instrument, the piano, and an digital instrument, the synthesizer. The resolute words in the chorus is impressive.