Over the past years K-Pop has gained international acclaim. Their songs are so much loved, people are even learning Korean so they can understand what the songs mean. Their fandoms (fan community) have international fans as well. Nowadays, even non-K-Pop fans listen to the K-Pop songs they like. The songs are crossing the 100 million mark in record time. For example, BTS’ ‘Butter’ crossed the 100 million views mark within 21 hours.
This year, apart from boy groups like TXT, Stray Kids, and NCT, and girl groups like NewJeans, IVE and LE SSERAFIM are ruling the charts. Though I’m an ARMY, I stan other groups as well. So, overall my views are unbiased. Though when it comes to top lists, everyone has their own choice, but when more than one person likes something, it’s inevitable to say it’s not a top list item. With K-Pop entering the fifth generation, there’s a lot going on. So, let’s see which songs rule 2023. The list is compiled after listening to the songs, and not only on the basis of their online ranking on various lists. So, here are the top 10 K-Pop songs of 2023, as of now. This will be updated in the coming months!
The ranking given to the songs is my own personal ranking, based on what I felt when I heard them.
1. ‘Bite Me’ – ENHYPEN
ENHYPEN debuted in 2020 with their EP (Extended Play) “Border: Day One”. The song ‘Bite Me’” is from their EP “Dark Blood,” and in May 2023, South Korea’s Hanteo Chart announced the EP had sold over 1.1 million copies. The song ‘Bite Me’ focuses on a deep desire for romance and having a physical connection with your lover. The line “It’s you and me in this world, in this darkness, light me” means they are saying that their love is the only source of hope for them.
The line “Leave a mark on my neck, that it’s yours, just come over and bite me” taken on a vampire theme. So, if you are a werewolf/vampire lover like me, this song is definitely one to be added to your personal playlist. Personally, I like the Studio Choom version, as it has a more vampire feel to it with its dark black theme.
Ranking: The track gets 10/10.
The Stray Kids are a fourth generation boy group who debuted in 2018. The group consists of eight members and they have always been known for their powerpack performances. According to “KINGDOM: LEGENDARY WAR,” episode 1, the JYP group received five awards as a Rookie of the Year, and as super rookies, they took over the US as well.
The track ‘Hall of Fame’ is a testament from the Stray Kids members on their desire to engrave their names in the stars. The boys’ heavenly melodies and the perfect composition done by 3RACHA (Bang Chan, ChangBin and Han), shows the hard work the boys have put into making the song. The heavy rock and rhythm is perfectly blended with the strong lyrics.
Ranking: The track gets 7/10 ranking.
3. ‘Broken Melodies’ – NCT DREAM
NCT or “Neo Culture Technology” knows how to remain on the charts. The song ‘Broken melodies’ tells about the struggles of a long-distance relationship, which many can relate to. The song is sung by NCT sub-unit, NCT DREAM. In the video, the boys can be seen talking with their love in the phone booths.
The lyrics beautifully describe the pain one suffers in a long-distance relationship. The track is a pre-release from the sub-unit’s most recent album, which was released last July 17th. The song is a total nostalgic experience in today’s modern era.
Ranking: NCT DREAM gets 10/10 for their new single.
4. ‘Farewell, Neverland’ – TXT
Peter Pan is a story everyone can relate to. After all, we all have left our childhood innocence behind. The imagination we had as kids and the sense of going on adventures kind of has gotten lost in our day-to-day life. ‘Farewell Neverland’ interprets the story perfectly.
Expressing the heartbreak one feels on realizing their innocent childhood days are gone, TXT have proven their ability once again. Truly no one expresses like TXT.
The ethereal melody, fairy-tale ambience gives off an amazing emotional vibe- once again, even if they are a boy group, they never shy away from emotions.
Ranking: The song gets a 10/10 ranking.
Suga of BTS is another K-Pop idol who needs no introduction. Suga debuted in 2013 with the boy group BTS, and is also known as the soloist Agust D. ‘Haegeum’ is the title track and it features Suga in it. The music video takes two steps ahead from the last two mixtapes.
The song is completely produced and written by Suga, and the poetic rap on the Korean traditional beats is worth listening to. The lyrics clearly tell about Suga’s journey, and the song speaks about freedom from anything.
Ranking: My ranking for Suga is 100% based on the song. The ranking is 10/10.
6. ‘I AM’ – IVE
When one thinks of K-Pop, you picture a dancing extravaganza. Well, ‘I AM’ is more than just a song. The lyrics have a soul touching emotional effect and deliver pure joy. The song itself is described to have a strong message that delivers a self-reliant and confident attitude towards life.
‘I AM’ debuted at no. 2 on the South Korean Circle Digital Chart and went up to the first position within the week. ‘I AM’ debuted on the US Billboard World Digital Songs Sale at no. 7.
Ranking: The song gets 9/10.
NewJeans are another new debut girl group who debuted in 2022. They soon rose to fame thanks to their “Girl-Next-Door” image, and they’re easy-to-the-ears as well. The song ranked 1st on the Japan Combined singles (Oricon), 2nd on the Japan (Oricon), and 2nd on the South Korean Album (Circle).
‘OMG’ is a perfect song for first-time lovers.
Ranking: The song gets 8/10.
FIFTY FIFTY is relatively new group who debuted last year in 2022. Overall, their singing and dancing abilities are great, but their chorus singing is like four girls, one voice. The song ‘Cupid’ ranked no. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100, and is climbing forward. I guess there’s no need to ask why. After hearing the track, I like the overall package of the song.
The song not only made its way into the hearts of HUNNIES (their fandom), but non-K-Pop listeners as well. The main character of the song is rom-com and can be heard anytime, anywhere. As said before I’m not much of a girl group listener as most of my time I’m watching dramas and K-Pop videos. But you should listen to this track at least once, then you’ll be listening to it daily.
Ranking: I give the song 8/10.
Kai is a K-Pop idol who needs no introduction. Member of EXO, Kai debuted with the group in 2012 and is from the third generation of K-Pop. On a personal aspect, Kai holds a strong stage presence. Be it in songs like ‘Love Shot’ or ‘Monster’, even the boys. His body language never fails in leaving an impression. Known as the master of seduction, ‘Rover’ delivers a great combination of amazing looks, soulful voice, and amazing dancing skills.
Kai’s onstage persona and his off-stage persona are like dual personalities in one body. Now with ‘Rover’, he plays Mr. Rover, making a third personality join him who’s taking you on a ride that will take you to liberty.
Ranking: Kai as a person gets 10/10 and his track also gets 10/10.
10. ‘Welcome To My World’ – aespa
Though I don’t really listen to girl groups, after listening to my sister listening to ‘Kill This Love’ the whole day for weeks, I thought I should take a look at girl groups as well. That’s what got me to listen to some girl K-Pop songs as well. aespa is known for their high-concept of fusion and are one of the leafing girl groups in K-Pop today.
And the fact the girls have a voice that sounds so unreal to the ears, is amazing and makes listening to their songs like it’s a mystery that’s unraveling. Their song ‘Welcome To The World’ delivers a soft yet impactful message from the girls Karina, Giselle, Winter and NingNing. The song is a beautiful demonstration of their range and the control they have – the reason they managed to produce such a fantastic musical realm.
The lyrics of the song leave a strong impact on you. Like the line “In different languages, your truth remains the same, again, feel like we are one”, gives a feeling like there’s a world where no border exists. A cinematic glory to watch, the track is perfect for being a midnight lullaby.
Ranking: For this particular track, ranking is 7/10.
As said before, this list is based on online polling and my personal preference as well. I have heard each of the songs and do enjoy them. Overall if I was asked about my favorite from the list, I would say it’s ‘Welcome To My World’, ‘Haegeum’, ‘Farewell, Neverland’ and ‘Broken Melodies’. As for ‘Bite Me’, I practically listen to this song daily.
But there are still two months left and new releases can come that can rule the charts, so we might have new entries. Till then let’s enjoy these.
Till next post, stay safe, stay healthy. Do comment which one is your favorite.