The best K-Pop songs of the summer of 2022

The best K-Pop songs of the summer of 2022

Over the past few years, the South Korean music industry has grown exponentially thanks to the help of global superstars BTS, who have become one of the biggest boy bands of the 21st century. The fast-paced and exciting K-pop industry has reached far beyond the borders of South Korea, becoming one of the largest pop markets in the world. Today, we highlight the top K-pop releases for the summer of 2022.

BTS – “Yet to come”

In a pre-recorded special that was released as part of FESTA, an annual celebration tied to BTS’s debut anniversary, the group announced that they will be taking a break from group activities to focus on their solo work. Three days later, the group released their first anthology album. Proof, and their title track “Yet to Come.” The track builds on the same theme discussed in their previous era, known as The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, in which the group discussed the beginning of young adulthood, a period marked by endless possibilities, but also by a feeling crippling with anxiety about insecurities about oneself and uncertainties about the future.

To continue on the same theme, “Yet to Come” is the nostalgia-laden song that symbolizes their closing twenties, as most of the members enter their late 20s and early 30s. The song is both nostalgic and optimistic, as member V sings in the intro, “Yeah the past was honestly for the best/But the best of me is what comes after/I ain’t messing around, nah sure.” The members remember the best moment of their past, but also realize that their best moments are yet to come. It’s these messages of hope woven into songs like “Life Goes On,” “00:00 (Zero O’ Clock),” “Spring Day,” and now “Yet to Come,” along with BTS’s ability to be transparent through of music that makes them stand out from the rest of K-pop and helps them relate to a larger audience.


In their nine years as a group, Twice has achieved immense success to the point where each member is recognized outside of the group. However, even with this popularity, no two-time member had released any solo work until June, when lead vocalist Nayeon released her first self-titled mini album with her title track “POP.” The track is brimming with the elements one would expect a summer pop release to sound and feel like. The vibrancy of the chorus, the anticipatory hook that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait for the chorus to kick in, and the upbeat tempo all together make the song a classic pop hit, so it’s about time we K-pop goes astray. away from all the unnecessary EDM chorus-filled tracks and embraced fun pop songs, like “POP!” one more time.

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In the spring, Seventeen released their fourth studio album, facing the sunwhich became a huge commercial success for the group, becoming their first top ten album on the Billboard 200 chart. A month and a half later, the group released the repackaged version of the album, titled Sector 17, along with its lead single, “World”. The song blends funk and R&B and is reminiscent of their old mix of EDM and pop releases. While some might say that Seventeen is playing it safe with the release of “World,” for fans and casual listeners of the group, this is just Seventeen in their element.

The song doesn’t rely too heavily on gimmicks, such as autotune and TikTok dance moves like their previous release “HOT”, but is more vocal-driven, with lead vocalists Seungkwan and Joshua leading the song’s highlights. . The song is light and cute with its subtle funk vibes and silvery vocal delivery. Comparatively, the song isn’t groundbreaking in the same way “HOT” wasn’t, but it still has the same Seventeen aura that once helped make them the world-famous group they are today.

NewJeans – “Attention”

As third-generation K-pop groups disband, go on hiatus, and become less popular overall, a host of new groups have emerged. Some of these groups have already made themselves known nationally and internationally, but most of these groups are struggling to achieve some national and later international success as well. NewJeans, a girl group that debuted in July with their single “Attention,” is the latest contender for a group that could reign in the fourth generation both internationally and domestically, and their lead single is proof of that. “Attention” has all the elements that fourth-generation K-pop groups lack. The song is well-produced and unique with mid-2000s pop and R&B influences, unlike the overproduced EDM tracks its peers constantly release. The vocals are the highlight of the song rather than the choreography and music video, which helps them stand out from other fourth generation groups who focus too much on the other elements.

Pleasant to listen to, the song uses minimalist production along with the group’s sweet vocals. Their simple choreography also plays a strong point as it makes them more distinct. All of these elements in NewJeans’ debut have been in many other songs by K-pop groups from previous generations and were the reason for the success of those groups. So, it’s safe to say that if NewJeans continues what they did in “Attention,” they too could become a leading force for the next generation of K-pop.

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Before the release of the repackaged version of their fourth studio album, Sector 17, and their title track “_WORLD,” SEVENTEEN’s leading subunit, consisting of S.Coups, Woozi, and Hoshi, released their single “CHEERS” along with a music video. The pre-release single follows the similar vibe found on their latest title track “HOT,” with the automatic singing returning along with the song’s hip-hop production, except this time, SEVENTEEN is mixing hip-hop beats. asian hop and trap The song reflects how far the group has come since their humble beginnings as small company artists.

“CHEERS” is a perfect song and a compelling illustration of SEVENTEEN’s willingness to experiment sonically. However, his experimentation doesn’t stop with just producing the song. Even the choreography has them trying new things, like the Bollywood-style hip-shaking moves towards the end of the song. It is certain now that SEVENTEEN is aware of the kind of sound that will guarantee them success. Yet even with this knowledge, they seem to have a fascination with experimenting, which heightens excitement about what kind of sound the group will create next.

NewJeans – “Pain”

HYBE’s new girl group’s pre-release single “Hurt” emphasizes how good the group’s vocals are. Staying true to its throwback concept, “Hurt” is reminiscent of contemporary 2000s R&B, with its smooth production and subdued lyrics. Once again, the song’s minimalist production helps to highlight the group’s soft voice. Along with that, the music video and style add to the throwback concept. The track is fairly one-dimensional in that it lacks climaxes and dynamic vocal changes, instead gliding on a steady beat. However, the song still shines showing melodic variations. The track, while simple, still has a lot going for it, and with most fourth-generation K-pop girl groups shifting most of their focus toward dancing and girl-crush concepts, it’s refreshing to see a new group trying something new for a change.

IVE – “After LIKE”

K-pop has been known for many things, such as its high-budget music videos, incredible visuals, and frequent showings. Essentially, all of these elements help make K-pop so successful, and it turns out they’re also present in IVE’s first comeback, “After Like.” The dance-pop track first begins with the familiar instrumental tease of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and builds to the chorus, where the sample’s riff is used in the background. However, the track isn’t entirely retro, with the addition of an upbeat deep house instrumental that graces the rest of the track. Though there’s more to IVE’s “After Like” than just its iconic sampling, and it’s found within its luscious music video and enticing choreography shots. It is probably one of the best K-pop music videos released this year and the best on this list.

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The only flaw in IVE’s first comeback is how the song overshadows their banal choreography. But even that shortcoming isn’t too bad compared to all the horrendous choreography-driven pitches from his teammates.

Talk that talk – twice

Ever since Twice began their transition into mature concepts, they have received mixed responses, especially from Korean fans. Some of these comebacks haven’t been worse, but they still lack the charm of Twice that most fans know. “Talk that Talk” is the most appropriate mature concept with the familiar Twice vibe that most fans know. The upbeat synth-pop track has a compelling bridge and chorus that are paired with a stunning music video in which the girls look gorgeous in stylish outfits. The music video stays true to the retro concept of the song, with a retro sci-fi movie aesthetic. However, the most amazing aspect of the song is the vocals, with the three vocalists Jihyo, Jeongyeon, and Nayeon performing the most impressive parts of the song. Without a doubt, the song offers some of Twice’s best vocal work, which is hard to find in a seven-year-old girl group’s title track. Overall, the track is energetic and addictive, just like their previous title tracks, but it also offers a new side of Twice that fans have never seen.

THE BOYZ – “Timeless”

After their release of “MAVERICK” in 2021, it seemed that THE BOYZ were changing from their usual bright, vocal production to suit the trends of rap and EDM-heavy tracks. However, this might not be entirely the case, as shown through their summer release of “Timeless.” The mid-tempo track essentially serves as a message to his fans that his love for them will remain forever. It’s a sweet sounding song with a nice message for their fans and is one of the group’s best songs lyrically. Hopefully, with this release, THE BOYZ have permanently moved away from what they were trying to achieve on “MAVERICK” and are geared towards creating more sonically and lyrically pleasing music, like “Timeless”.


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About the Author: Pierre Cohen

A person who has expertise in politics and writes articles to fill his spare time as a hobby.