Right on schedule, my indecisive self says hello once again! During my annual New Year’s Eve/Day listen to my favorite songs of the year, these ten songs popped up on the playlist and they definitely left a lasting impression on my 2022 music year. So here’s ten more tracks worthy of my Top 50 (60?!) of 2022!
“Case 143” by Stray Kids
Stray Kids’ latest “Case 143” is a nice, colorful spin on the group’s evolving style and sound. The blend of hip-hop, pop and R&B is an appealing mix that plays to the group’s strengths as talented writers, composers and performers. The group continues to grow with every release. And “Case 143” is another example of that. Probably my favorite title track from them in a while.
I think I do prefer the performance version of the music video though:
“X-Ray” by GHOST9
GHOST9 made their first comeback after a few member departures and they reintroduce themselves with the powerful “X-Ray.” The charismatic rock-infused hip-hop track is definitely a song that allows the group to show off their vocal and performance skills. It’s a great step forward for fans who have been with them from the beginning and a great gateway for any new fans who may be listening to and watching them for the first time.
“Addiction” by D-CRUNCH
D-CRUNCH returned with their latest single album “Addiction” and its title track of the same name. This album came after the departure of member Minhyuk and with the absence of Dylan who was on hiatus as he focuses on his physical and mental health. “Addiction” is a dramatic EDM dance track that has the members showing off their talent and charisma as they bring to life the lyrics about speeding quickly toward the objects of their affection. It is a strong track and even stronger performance from the group.
It’s just sad that this was the groups final comeback before the announcement of their disbandment. At least they wrapped up the group promotions on a high note. And best of luck to all the members on their future endeavors.
“Too Bad” by WEi
After debuting with powerful, charismatic concepts, WEi followed up their bright summer comeback last year with the equally cheerful “Too Bad.” The group’s energetic performance is an addictive and immediately likeable track with their charms and talents on full display.
“Sa Panaginip Na Lang” by ALAMAT
“Sa Panaginip Na Lang” is a beautiful OPM ballad. And it’s such a refreshing track to hear, especially from a P-pop group in a time when P-pop artists are doing their best in announcing their arrivals through big, performance-heavy dance tracks. The song reminds me very much of the days I would listen to the many OPM pop-rock bands of the 2000s. So it’s definitely a throwback, but also contemporary as well. And of course, it’s a chance for ALAMAT to show off their wonderful voices in a slower track that is all their own.
“You” by OWV
J-pop group OWV has already shown their versatility with both dark, charismatic songs and bright, summery tracks. They continue to show that talent with their latest release, “You.” And it might be my favorite from them so far. It’s a great midtempo pop dance track whose dreamlike vibe and romantic lyrics really allow the group to show off yet another different side of themselves.
“Thumbs Up” by BLANK2Y
BLANK2Y make their debut with the rousing, confident “Thumbs Up.” The hip-hop and trap dance track allows the group to make an impactful first impression. It’s an energetic song and performance that definitely showcases the rookie group’s talents and charisma.
“Rainy Day” by HVLF
KNK’s Kim Jihun returned as HVLF with his latest, “Rainy Day.” The mellow R&B track is another great self-composed creation from the talented artist. Jihun’s soft vocals are perfect for the understated melody and the accompanying rainfall in the background. Together, they create a mesmerizing atmosphere for an easy and welcome listen.
“Ghostin'” by Kim Woo Seok
Fresh off his great run on Bulgasal, UP10TION’s Kim Woo Seok returned with his third solo release 3rd Desire [Reve]. “Sugar” was one of my favorite tracks of last year. Title track “Switch” combined the bright sweetness of that track and the sexiness of his solo debut “Red Moon.” The rest of the album is solid. But my favorite tracks included the dreamy “Shame” and most especially the groovy opener “Ghostin.”
“Ascension” by KINGDOM
Regal, epic, dramatic, grand. All adjectives you can describe any of KINGDOM’s title tracks since their debut. The group continues their unique and thoroughly captivating concept with the next chapter in their royal series. “Ascension” is another amazing all-around performance. Vocals, dancing, charisma; it’s all here and you can’t help but be captivated by that performance.
“Time Bomb” by Isaac Voo
It has been great seeing IN2IT finally together after the members have completed their military service. During that time, member Isaac has kept busy while also keeping fans updated through regular posts on social media, especially TikTok. While everyone waits for a potential IN2IT comeback, Isaac makes his solo debut with the charismatic and rousing track “Time Bomb.” The dance track has a catchy chorus and very appealing pre-chorus. It’s a great showcase for Isaac as a solo artist. And it is an extra treat to hear him singing and rapping in his native Malay.