Staff Recommended Top 20 Songs Of 2010 (Part 1: 11-20)

Staff Recommended Top 20 Songs Of 2010 (Part 1: 11-20)

Happy holidays everyone.  I am back again counting down this year’s staff recommended top 20 songs.  This year it is very difficult to fill out my top 20.  I say this every year but the meaning is a little bit different this time around.  I feel that many songs are above average this year but not too many stands out.  At the end, I have a lot of decisions to make on what songs to include.  Believe me, it is a toss up on a lot of songs.

Before you read any further, I must emphasize that these songs are my personal choices.  I mention this every year too but still get many responses on why some of the most popular artists are not included in my list.  Again you won’t find many well known artists on this list.  In fact, if you have listened to more than half of these songs before I’d say you are an avid k-pop fans.  The main purpose of this post is to introduce readers many of the good k-pop songs and artists you may have missed out this year.  Some of these songs have appeared on my weekly bonus track before.

As a tradition, we are doing the count “down” so you will start reading from bottom up.  Today I am posting No. 11 to 20.

 

20. Ahn Jin Kyung (feat. Lee Ki Kwang of Beast) – 사랑이 딱해 (Love Is Pitiful) 
Genre: Pop/Dance
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Album: Ahn Jin Kyung EP “Be The Voice” Track 1
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: We started our countdown with an up-tempo song.  Surprisingly this is my favorite dance song of 2010.  Ahn Jin Kyung from the group Baby Vox (the new Baby Vox) released two mini-albums in 2010 and “Love Is Pitiful” is coming from her 2nd mini-album last summer.  This is a song with very catchy melody. also featuring the rapping of fast rising boyband Beast’s member Lee Ki Kwang.  Unlike many songs in our countdown, this song was promoted and Ahn Jin Kyung appeared on a lot of music shows performing it.  It’s too bad it wasn’t a bigger hit but did caught my attention.

 

19. Miji – 흐노니 (Don’t Cry)
Genre: Classical/Pop Ballad
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Album: Miji Vol. 1 “The Challenge” Track 3
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: Top songwriter Cho Young Soo has ventured into many interesting projects the last few years, mixing other genres of music into k-pop.  He tried American Country Western style with SG Wannabe, and neo-trot with Hong Jin Young.  In early 2010, Cho lauched a new girl group Miji who incorporates a bit of popular music and classical ensemble. Singing and playing music on traditional instruments including the gayageum, daegeum, haegeum, and saeng. The talented girls were selected through audition and had to go through extensive training including vocal and instrumental performances and dance and foreign language instruction.  One of my favorite songs in the early part of 2010.

 

18. Running Sky – 커다란 꿈 (Big Dream)
Genre: Modern Rock
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Album: Running Sky Vol. 1 “A Piece Of Memory” Track 3
Listen To:  Full Song Watch: Live Performance
Comment: Three years ago I introduced Dear Cloud in this countdown.  This year I discovered a similar indie rock group Running Sky.  They are popular in the underground music scene in Hongdae.  Running Sky releases its first full length album titled, “A Piece of Memory.” All the songs in the album hold lyrics with feelings and memories people experience throughout their lives.  The title song “Big Dream” has crossover melody.  I think this group should enjoy mainstream success if they are being promoted.

 

17. Mekid (feat. Soulcry) – 아픔이 다시 돌아올까봐 (In Case Pain Returns)
Genre: R&B Ballad
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Album: Mekid digital single “First Story” Track 1
Listen To: Full Song  
Comment: Songs releasing at the end of the year definitely have an advantage over songs releasing earlier in the year.  Fresh off being the bonus track on December week 3′s music chart, this song made it into my year end top 20.  Mekid releases his first single after five years of rigorous training. The song, “In Case Pain Returns” features Soul Cry who has been gaining popularity with “The Start of Love is Confession.” The two singers’ harmonization is expected to give listeners goose bumps upon listening.

 

16. Han Ji Eun (feat. Baby G, C-Boi) – 유리조각 (Shard Of Glass)
Genre: Pop Ballad
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Album: Han Ji Eun digital single “Shard Of Glass” Track 1
Watch: MV
Comment: One of my favorite pop ballads by a female singer in 2010.  Han Ji Eun releases her first single, “Shard of Glass” after working on it for a year. The talented singer has previously performed in university concerts and also took part in various featurings before this release. “Shard of Glass,” a medium tempo ballad that incorporates Korean elements. It showcases Han’s emotional yet powerful vocals. The singer took part in penning the lyrics herself which is about heartbreak a woman feels after letting a loved one go. The acoustic guitar sounds along with Baby G’s R&B style vocals and C-Boi’s rap blend well with Han’s poppish voice.

 

15. Mazik Flow (feat. Reah) – 두근두근 (Heart Beating)
Genre: Pop Ballad
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Album: Mazik Flow digital single “Heart Beating” Track 1
Listen To: Full Song  
Comment: Each year I featured a song from drama or movie.  This year there are many good OST theme songs but none made it to my year end list.  Well, this song is somewhat related to a TV Program.  It is one of Jo Kwon and Ga In’s theme songs when they starred as “The Adam Couple” on the reality TV show “We Got Married”.  Many fans should have heard of this song but may not know the artists.  The theme is a love story about the nervousness one feels between new lovers. Reah lends her vocals for this song, taking turns singing along Mazik Flow’s rap.  This is the second “We Got Married” song to be listed on my year end top 20.  In 2008, Kim Dong Ruyl’s “Like A Child” which is Alex and Shin Ae’s (one of the earliest couples on the show) theme song was ranked No. 5.

 

14. M4 – 널 위한 멜로디 (Melody For You)
Genre: Pop Ballad

Album: M4 mini-album “The Story Of M4″ Track 1 
Watch: MV
Comment: There are many project albums in 2010, and two of them made it into our year end top 20.  Younger generation of K-pop fans may not be familiar with the members of this project group. However, if you have listened to k-pop for more than 10 years or if you like old skool k-pop music, they are household names. M4 consists of members Bae Ki Sung (from CAN), Lee Se Joon (from Yurisangja), Kim Won Joon, and Choi Jae Hoon. The four good friends get together and named themselves M4 – the middle aged version of F4. Their title song “Melody For You” is a sincere ballad very much of Yurisangja’s style.

 

13. Noel – 흔들리지마 (Don’t Get Shaken)
Genre: Pop
External from soompi image   
Album: Noel digital single “A.M. NO:EL” Track 1
Listen To: Full Song  
Comment: This Noel is not the R&B group Noel that fans are more familiar with.  Noel is a rookie female singer with very good vocal skills.  This mid-tempo song “Don’t Get Shaken” is coming from her debut single “A.M. NO:EL” which took three years to produce and release. Although she’s a new singer, she has already gained respect from various composers as she has taken part in the chorus for established singers such as SE7EN, Kim Bum Soo, Lyn, Bada, and Gummy and has worked as a guide for Big Mama, Gummy, Lyn, and CSJH the Grace.  This is the kind of song that grows on you the more you listen to. 

 

12. Park Hye Kyung – 새 남자친구 (A New Boyfriend)
Genre: Pop Ballad
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Album: Park Hye Kyung digital single “A New Boyfriend” Track 1
Watch: MV Live Performance
Comment: Park Hye Kyung is a familiar name on this countdown, having appeared twice on my list before – in 2002 with “Rain” and in 2003 with “Nagging”.  She returns after a seven year absence with “A New Boyfriend”, a guitar driven easy listening ballad that fits so well with her unique singing voice.  She has been quieter the last few years but still one of my favorite female soloists. 

 

11. MC Mong (feat. Mellow) – 죽을 만큼 아파서 (Hurt To The Extent Of Death)      
Genre: Hip-hop Ballad
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Album: Blue Brand Vol. 2 Trauma Part 2 Track 2 
Watch: MV
Comment: Finally we have a more familiar name and he is also a regular on our year end list.  2010 was not a good year for MC Mong, as he is still facing pending trial of evading mandatory military duties and he recently got banned by KBS due to his negative image.  However, a good song is still a good song.  “Hurt To The Extent Of Death” is the title song from the 2nd project album of the Blue Brand series, “Trauma Part 2″.  This song has the trademark MC Mong hip-hop style ballad with a listener friendly melody.  Female singer Mellow lends her sweet vocal which includes many English lyrics, reminding us of Mong’s old hit “A Letter Written To You Part 2″.  Despite not being promoted, this song hit No. 1 on many internet charts in Korea.

 

That is No. 11 to No. 20.  Hope you like my selections so far.  Tomorrow we’ll count down the top 10.  You will see more familiar names in the top 10.  As a hint, this year’s No. 1 song is a very special song!

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