OSKP Lindsay’s Top 10 K-Pop Throwback Tracks
I’m taking us back in time as we dive into my top 10 favorite k-pop throwbacks! There have been so many amazing songs released in the past, but I was able to (barely) chisel my list down to the ones below. I hope you enjoy!
1. B1A4 – Beautiful Target
This song is so catchy, and B1A4 is a group that continues to release amazing tunes. The music video is also the cutest thing. Jinyoung creates the perfect girl in a science lab, and the members are immediately jealous. We also get to see the boys in different job uniforms; CNU as a pilot, Baro as a fireman, Sandeul as an EMT, and Gongchan as a newscaster. The song is so upbeat and you will catch yourself singing “I like it, like it, like it,” I promise you. The end of the music video brings adorable bloopers as well!
2. 2NE1 – I Don’t Care
I know it hurts seeing their name but you got to keep them alive, keep them immortalized as the amazing girl group they were. And it was so hard choosing one of their older songs because each one is a gem (like ‘Go Away’. And ‘Ugly’. And ‘Lollipop’ that they did with BIGBANG.) But ‘I Don’t Care’ is one of my favorites, and the music video is relatable as the members deal with heartbreak, but in the best way. And who would have thought 2NE1 would’ve done something like the Mannequin Challenge 6 years before it was an actual thing? Queens. And this is another music video that graces us with bloopers at the end. I would like to know why we don’t get bloopers at the end of music videos anymore.
3. SHINee – Sherlock•셜록 (Clue + Note)
This song is so good. The beat, the vocals, Minho’s iconic “SHINee’s back” whisper in the beginning, everything is just amazing. And the music video? The cherry on top of a Winning Track. We’ve got our very own SHINee detective agency trying to find a stolen jewel in an art museum. Girls Generation’s Jessica stars as the ghost woman who leaves clues behind in order to aid in the search. The boys look so good too as they showcase their fantastic dancing skills, for the choreography is intense and so synchronized they look like one well-oiled machine.
4. U-Kiss – 0330
‘0330’ is a gorgeous song, showcasing U-Kiss’s unbelievable vocals. And the rapping is strong but fits the softer, lighter style of the song so well. Who could possibly forget AJ and Eli’s “don’t deny our R square pi” line? And the music video has a tragic plot-line starring a previous member, Dongho. The boys have to watch as Dongho pretends the girl he loves is still around to talk to and laugh with when she is not. We see their struggle and sadness as their friend struggles with accepting reality, and are there for him when he finally does. The group’s acting is just as fantastic as their vocals.
5. TTS – Twinkle
TTS was a subgroup of Girls Generation with Seohyun, Tiffany, and Taeyeon. ‘Twinkle’ is one of my all-time favorite songs of theirs. It has a bit of a pop meets 1920’s brass band vibe to it. And the girls can sing. Their vocals are out of this world, and they showcase how much sheer talent they have on this track. The music video is full of glitz and glam, the members looking stunning in every shot. We also get some EXO cameos of Chanyeol, Baekhyun, Sehun, and Jongin when they were still fresh-faced rookies!
6. TVXQ – Mirotic
This is a classic throwback, and groups still do covers of this song to this day. The tune is sultry and sexy and brings back nostalgic memories of my first journey into k-pop. This was in the OT5 era of TVXQ, so the music video includes Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun, who departed from the group in 2010 to form JYJ. The music video is the embodiment of sexy, as the boys struggle to free themselves from a seductress who’s trapped each one in their own separate prison. It’s an amazing song, and I hope it continues to go down in history as such.
7. Miss A – I don’t need a man(남자 없이 잘 살아)
Miss A came out with this absolutely powerful song dedicated to “all the independent ladies” who can support themselves without the help of a man or their parents. It is one of the ultimate girl power jams to this day, in my personal opinion. It’s one of those songs you blast when you need a little confidence boost, or you just went through a break-up and need to be reminded a man (or woman) doesn’t have to complete you. The music video features these gorgeous girls being the bomb-ass ladies they are, talking about buying clothes and paying rent with their own hard-earned money and loving it. Miss A officially disbanded in December 2017 and the k-pop scene feels a little emptier without them.
8. BEAST – Beautiful
BEAST is now rebranded as HIGHLIGHT, but ‘Beautiful’ will forever be one of my favorite songs of theirs under their old name. It’s a light, upbeat track that brings my mood up instantly. I heard this song back in high school and loved it so much I used the instrumental as background music on a school project. It’s so good and extremely catchy and just gives you this happy feeling in your chest when you listen to it. And the music video is like a 7 minute, 14-second long movie, with half the group participating in the underground dance scene until Junhyung injures himself and can’t participate anymore. Then we have Gikwang, the new kid in town who is weaseling his way into the heart of Junhyung’s ex-girlfriend. The music video ends right when the plot thickens but continues in the music video for ‘I Like You The Best.’
9. MBLAQ – CRY
MBLAQ has so many quality tracks, and choosing one was incredibly difficult as I knew I wanted something from them on this list. This song is gorgeous. It’s full of yearning and sadness you can feel in the boys’ voices. It’s the kind of song you want to dramatically lip-sync to while your friend sprays the water hose behind you to simulate rain. And the music video is just as beautiful. The members dance dramatically in front of billowing silk sheets dressed in white and black suites looking devastatingly attractive. Everything, from the dancing to the singing, just screams passion.
10. After School – BANG!
After School released a BOP with this jam. This song gives me hardcore nostalgia with its marching band theme, reminding me of my high school football games. The girls give the song so much energy with their chanting cheers that will easily infect anyone listening. And the music video is impressive, the girls looking sexy in different variations of marching band uniforms (my favorite being the pink blinged out number). To add to the sheer awesomeness, the intro performance for ‘BANG!’ features the girls whaling on some marching snares, looking like they were snatched right out of the movie Drumline. The boys of Seventeen did a special version of this song on their pre-debut show “Seventeen Project” as one of their challenges, where After School’s leader Jungah came as a guest-judge. I believe they killed it, but you’ll have to see for yourself.
There were so many good songs I wish I could’ve fit on this list! Let us know in the comment section below what your favorite throwback track is!