The Very Best K-Pop Songs of 2022

All 2022 long, K-pop dominated our streaming platforms, broke records and showcased the genre's incredible versatility.

We got new sounds from popular groups such as SEVENTEEN and BLACKPINK and debuts from rising artists including NewJeans. It was truly the year of K-pop.

We thought long and hard about which songs to include in our best K-pop songs of 2022 list because there were simply too many amazing artists releasing even more amazing tracks last year. But ultimately, we narrowed it down to 10 stellar bops that have everything we look for in a killer song and had us hitting the replay button over and over again. Here are the top 10 K-pop songs of 2022 that simply can't be beaten.

 

'Pink Venom' by BLACKPINK

Does it get any more iconic than starting a song off with a chant of your group name? We don't think so. "Pink Venom" was the perfect comeback song after an almost two-year hiatus from the biggest girl group in the world. Jennie kicks it off strong by "kicking in the door," quickly followed by Lisa's clever Rihanna-inspired wordplay and impressive vocal showcases from Rosé and Jisoo before one of the catchiest choruses of the year drops. And how can we not bring up the '90s-esque rap from Lisa and Jennie that still has our jaws on the floor, or the "ratatatata" outro? We're still reeling from that VMA performance, by the way.

 

'HOT' by SEVENTEEN

Want to talk about a song that screams fire? "HOT" by SEVENTEEN has to be at the top of the list. This is the type of song that gets you on your feet, dancing, feeling confident and enjoying life. The off-the-bat liveliness and the switch-ups from zero to 100 are indications of the 13-member group's adaptability and are just plain hot. We were blessed to see this live in concert and hope to see it many more times live in the future because it's just that good.

 

'Doom Du Doom' by P1Harmony

If only we had a guitar right now to play along to this song! P1Harmony exploded onto the scene last year, and we believe "Doom Du Doom" was a big factor in that. There are few groups that can make any sound work for them, but P1Harmony did just that with this ever-changing beat in "Doom Du Doom." The chorus is sing-along worthy, and every time we listen to it, we can't help ourselves.

 

Also read about: P1Harmony Strives to Create Unity on HARMONY : SET IN

 

'ANTIFRAGILE' by LE SSERAFIM

We are well aware of how this song was everywhere in 2022. LE SSERAFIM quickly established themselves as one of the fourth generation it groups, and adding a song as striking as "ANTIFRAGILE" to their repertoire only solidified that. Aside from being catchy, it's a track like nothing we've heard in K-pop before, and it's just what was needed last year to show the genre's versatility. We see big things in the future for this girl group.

 

'Future Perfect (Pass the MIC)' by ENHYPEN

ENHYPEN is another group we were fortunate enough to see live this year, and as expected, along with "Future Perfect" being our favorite from the group in general, it was the best live performance as well. If songs were ranked like movies on Rotten Tomatoes, this one would be certified fresh. The bass alone is enough to make us want to bop our heads, but the layers in the members' vocals and the song's build-up to the drop, coupled with the raps, are superb. Another plus is its unconventional structure, which keeps us coming back and pressing repeat.

 

'Hurt' by NewJeans

Highlighted by impressive vocals and a nostalgic '90s-meets-Y2K vibes, NewJeans gave us a sweet song that we absolutely love. "Hurt" is relatable and perfect for anyone going through a relationship issue. Each member invokes their raw emotion while singing this track, and we certainly feel it every time we listen.

 

'Sweet' by THE BOYZ

"Sweet" was the perfect release for a summer single from THE BOYZ. Simply put, it's a sweet love party song that we fell in love with on our first listen. The "sweet" chorus is proves the group has a recipe that works, while the outro of the song switches things up while proving to be equally amazing. And that high note during the final chorus is hard to compare to any other song THE BOYZ—or any other group, for that matter—has released, because it's just that impressive.

 

'MANIAC' by Stray Kids

Stray Kids is a group that deserves all the praise in the world. Constantly releasing music and experimenting with their style and sound, they conform to no one. "MANIAC"'s heavily rap-based sound works in a Middle Eastern beat during its non-chorus melodies, further exploring the group's dynamic talents. Even the instrumental alone is a delight, but with the members adding so much flavor to the song, it becomes something else entirely. We'd also like to add that we think they do some of the best ad-libs in the biz, which adds so much more taste to their songs, just like this one.

 

'Tasty' by NCT 127

NCT 127 knows how to get us to dance, and with "Tasty," that trend continues. With lyrics like, "We're savage, outlaws, rock solid, no flaws," we couldn't help but want to feel like baddies in a club. We especially loved how hyped the chorus gets right before Mark gives an aggressive, almost angry-sounding rap. And yes, we're here for it. We are looking forward to what 127 brings forth with the repackaged version of the album that brought us this bop later this month.

 

'Glitch Mode' by NCT Dream

Our all-time favorite K-pop song of the year was "Glitch Mode" by NCT Dream. From its iconic intro that got us hooked from the beginning to the subtle, "aye and mhm" backing ad-libs, the energy of this song is at 110%. Even still, the vocals are present, the rap is crisp and the harmony between members when they sing together is unmatched. The aesthetic music video was an added bonus.

 

Curious about what we loved most during the last month of the year? Click HERE to discover our six favorite K-pop tracks of December 2022.