Friday, December 9th, 2022

The 15 Best Songs To Get Non-Fans Into K-Pop, According To GQ Magazine : Entertainment Daily

GQ Magazine, formerly known as Gentleman’s Quarterly, is a publication that focuses on “fashion, style, and culture for men, though articles on food, movies, fitness, sex, music, travel, celebrities’ sports, technology, and books are also featured”. It might not be a place you’d expect to read about K-Pop, but they recently released an article titled “15 Best Gateway Songs for the K-Pop Curious” that discusses just that! Here are the 15 K-Pop songs mentioned in the article, including parts of what GQ Magazine had to say about each one.

1. “Blood Sweat & Tears” by BTS

“Blood Sweat & Tears” was released on October 10, 2016 off of BTS’s Wings album, which sold 1.50 million copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

Aided by production within the band and a winning hip-hop and vocal combo, they make almost any genre easy to tackle. Truly any number of their songs could be a gateway, but 2016’s “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is them at their best. It is pop perfection, sexy and has a video that presents the kind of unabashed theatricality that makes the genre so damn fun.

— GQ Magazine

2. “Growl” by EXO

“Growl” was released on August 5, 2013 off of EXO’s Growl album, which sold 764k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

Few songs are able to reach timeless status in an industry so fast-moving, where groups are debuted and disbanded daily, but “Growl” has endured to the point where members are still asked to perform the iconic choreography in TV appearances. Aided by some of the industry’s best vocalists within the group, the song remains a defining classic, and its seamless blend of pop and R&B is still replicated today.

— GQ Magazine

3. “Psycho” by Red Velvet

“Psycho” was released on December 23, 2019 off of Red Velvet’s The ReVe Festival: Finale album, which sold 270k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

2019’s “Psycho” came in right at the end of the year and made a huge impact. It has a restrained power, mostly thanks to the members’ impeccable harmonies, that’s etched it into the annals of K-Pop history.

— GQ Magazine

4. “Fancy” by TWICE

“Fancy” was released on April 22, 2019 off of TWICE’s Fancy You album, which sold 484k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

Over the course of their 7-year career, TWICE have been famed for their vocal-led, upbeat musicality, and this song acts as part of a maturing evolution for a group handed the torch of ‘Nation’s Girl Group’ (a title their second-generation predecessor Girls’ Generation also hold).

— GQ Magazine

5. “DDU-DU DDU-DU” by BLACKPINK

“DDU-DU DDU-DU” was released on June 15, 2018 off of BLACKPINK’s Square Up album, which sold 476k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

Their signature sound is confronting and audacious, exemplified perfectly in 2018’s smash “DDU-DU DDU-DU”, which became the first K-Pop group song to hit 1 billion views on YouTube.

— GQ Magazine

6. “Replay” by SHINee

“Replay” was released on May 22, 2008 off of SHINee’s Replay album, which sold 32k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

If there was a K-Pop 101, SHINee would be a necessary chapter. They’re known for their experimental discography, often innovating and introducing new sounds before they’re palatable to the naked ear.

— GQ Magazine

7. “Want” by Taemin

“Want” was released on February 11, 2019 off of Taemin’s Want album, which sold 130k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

While many consider Taemin’s single “Move” to be his most defining song, it’s 2019’s “Want” that offers an insight into just what can exist comfortably under the umbrella of K-Pop. It’s provocative, sensual, downright dirty, and an antidote to the notion that K-pop is purely sanitized.

— GQ Magazine

8. “Kick It” by NCT 127

“Kick It” was released on March 6, 2020 off of NCT 127’s Neo Zone album, which sold 1.01 million copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

Their sound can often feel like Goldilocks’ search for the perfect porridge – sometimes too much, sometimes not enough and sometimes just right. 2020’s “Kick It” is an excellent introduction to those wanting to explore just how much their ears can handle, with the exact right combination of intense production and almost intimate vocals.

— GQ Magazine

9. “God’s Menu” by Stray Kids

“God’s Menu” was released on June 17, 2020 off of Stray Kids’ Go Live album, which sold 562k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

2020’s “God’s Menu” is as loud as it is genius and a single that helped boil their already bubbling popularity over. Almost every song in their 4-year discography is produced in some way by members of the group, signaling a further move for personal expression in an industry often plagued by its stereotype of being manufactured.

— GQ Magazine

10. “4 Walls” by f(x)

“4 Walls” was released on October 27, 2015 off of f(x)’s 4 Walls album, which sold 82k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

2015’s “Four Walls” is one of their most distinctive releases to date, featuring a hypnotic chorus and backing beat. The song takes inspiration from UK dance, an influence that can also be seen in releases from contemporaries SHINee and newer group ENHYPEN.

— GQ Magazine

11. “LA DI DA” by EVERGLOW

“LA DI DA” was released on September 21, 2020 off of EVERGLOW’s −77.82X−78.29 album, which sold 49k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

EVERGLOW’s “LA DI DA” gives us some aggressive synth-pop and, like K-Pop often does, turns the amp up all the way to eleven. K-Pop is at its best when it masters a perfect chorus, and it’s hard to imagine a more impactful, heart-racing chorus than this.

— GQ Magazine

12. “Fallin’ Flower” by SEVENTEEN

“Fallin’ Flower” was released as a non-album digital single in 2020. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

2020’s “Fallin’ Flower” showcases the group’s ability to balance their sublime vocal, rap and performance contingents expertly. Sung in Japanese, it’s an example of the kind of releases K-Pop artists will drop to reach different fanbases.

— GQ Magazine

13. “Middle of the Night” by MONSTA X

“Middle of the Night” was released on February 14, 2020 off of MONSTA X’s All About Luv album, which sold 200k+ copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

The song is intimate and yearning, and as a group known for their masculine ‘beast idol’ concept, it shows the ways artists can shift and evolve their identities seamlessly for new releases.

— GQ Magazine

14. “Any Song” by ZICO

“Any Song” was released on January 13, 2020 as a digital single. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

If you’ve spent any time on a TikTok FYP, you’ve likely heard Zico’s 2020 single “Any Song”. One of the first K-Pop releases to really utilize a dance challenge on the platform, it became a viral sensation loved by celebrities and lifestyle bloggers alike.

— GQ Magazine

15. “Hype Boy” by NewJeans

“Hype Boy” was released on August 1, 2022 off of NewJeans’ New Jeans album, which sold 548k copies to date. Here is what GQ Magazine has to say about the song:

Taking inspiration from Y2K aesthetics and soundscapes, it proves the rule that trends do work in a 20-year cycle. NewJeans are part of a new class of exciting artists emerging into the scene, joined by fellow rookies IVE and LE SSERAFIM.

— GQ Magazine



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