By: Claudia Siregar |

2018 was a great year for music, including Korean pop music. In this article, editor Claudia Siregar has compiled a list of must-listen K-pop releases (including albums and singles) of 2018.

TEN

180 Degree by BEN

A winter ballad with sweet vocals from BEN about a breakup, sounding like a K-pop classic in its own right. The track made it to the charts in no time as K-netz, as we know it, are still suckers for ballads.

NINE

Remember Us: Youth pt. 2 by DAY6

The critically acclaimed band released their retro/80s pop rock-influenced EP in late 2018, with synths and aesthetics to match their retro theme. Solid production and a refreshing concept propelled the band forward in 2018.

EIGHT

Mark by Lee Changsub

BTOB’s Lee Changsub released his solo mini album “Mark”, gifting us with soft yet powerful vocals in five slow rock-influenced, self-written ballads – just in time before his military enlistment.

SEVEN

ZZZ by Zion T.

The K-R&B monster is back! This time he presents us with softer, somehow more mellow and poppy tunes compared to his previous works. His collab with Red Velvet’s Seulgi is one of the highlights of this EP.

SIX

One of Those Nights by Key feat. Crush

Shinee’s Key and Crush collaborated on a light, groovy R&B track with the usual funky K-pop melody we all missed from the second generation era.

FIVE

1, 2, 3! by Seungri

A catchy, upbeat, rockabilly-inspired tune by BIGBANG’s Seungri. Complemented with his raspy vocals and a retro-inspired music video, the song tells the lonesome story of a guy whose pride has been broken by his ex-lover.

FOUR

Egotistic by MAMAMOO

With this sensual, Latin contemporary music-inspired dance pop single and their magnificent vocals, MAMAMOO was set to become the queens of summer.

THREE

BBIBBI by IU

Digimon singer-songwriter-composer IU is back with her single “BBIBBI”, a hip hop-influenced, fun track (something IU hasn’t experimented with much before), singing about “blocking the haters”.

TWO

XX by MINO

A masterpiece in its own right, WINNER’s MINO’s debut solo album presents us with traditional Korean folk music and blues influences packed with trap-fused hip hop into one album, with the hit single “Fiancé”.

ONE

Goodbye Road by iKON

2018 was definitely iKON’s year, with a successful Asia tour and multiple comebacks that made it to the charts last year. However, if we could pick one release by iKON that outdid all of their 2018 releases (including Love Scenario, yes) – it’s the violin-and-strings-infused breakup ballad Goodbye Road.

Honourable Mentions:

dayfly by DEAN feat. Sulli & Rad Museum

Lil Touch by Girls’ Generation-Oh!GG

Don’t Mess Up My Tempo by EXO

Millions by WINNER

Hour Moment by BTOB

Just Friends by MeloMance

What Is Love by Twice

Voice by Onew

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