Edited by Yoon
Translated by Esther Lee
Unlike in the past, when an album’s physical sales determined its success, a song’s triumph in the current music market is now determined by its ranking on music charts. It’s difficult not to judge a song’s popularity based on listener reactions in real-time, daily music charts, and the time it spends on the lists. So many new songs come out every day, so the ability of a song to maintain its position on music charts determines how many hearts it stole from the listeners.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the five songs that successfully understood the audience’s needs and the culture of the time.
IU – Friday (Feat. Jang Yi Jeong Of HISTORY) (2013)
IU had always ranked high on music charts but the success of this song especially demonstrates her potential as a long-running artist. “Friday” was included in her repackaged third full-length album Modern Times. Unlike the dreamy fairy tale theme of Modern Times, “Friday” is a love song that can be easily hummed to. The song was a huge hit when it was first released and remained on the charts as long as it could. And perhaps because of its title, the song rose in rankings whenever Friday rolled around. Although it was the first time that she chose a self-written song as the title track for her album, the song has become one of the most popular songs in her discography that demonstrates her great talent as an artist.
BTS – Spring Day (2017)
“Spring Day” is one of the longest-charting songs sung by BTS. BTS’ core theme of “youth” is well-represented in the song. The song is written is based on BTS member Suga’s personal story, and it conveys the message of “rekindling a friendship between two people who had grown apart,” which many people can relate to. “Spring Day” was released near the end of the winter, and it was the perfect song for the season. Although the seasons have changed, the song is still remaining on various music charts. The song also shows J-Hope’s beautiful singing voice, instead of the typical raps he did in other songs. The globally popular songs “Dynamite” and “Butter” are definitely two of their best songs, but it’s hard to leave out “Spring Day” from their most remarkable tracks, at least in Korea.
OH MY GIRL – Nonstop, Dolphin (2020)
OH MY GIRL has been releasing high-quality title tracks since their debut. “CUPID” has a beautiful hook, “Secret Garden” tells an intriguing story throughout the song, “Remember Me” has a glamorous fairy tale theme, and “Dun Dun Dance” offers an exciting disco rhythm that makes everyone want to dance. Their steady popularity for the last eight years is all thanks to their mini-album NONSTOP. They received much love with the album’s title track “NONSTOP,” which showcased a simple tropical-themed dance move and “Dolphin” that broke the record for the longest-charting songs. The success of these songs means a lot to them since they have been consistently trying hard to find their stardom with great effort.
WINNER – Really Really (2017)
“Really Really” is the first song that WINNER released as a four-member boy group after Nam Tae Hyun’s departure. Many fans anticipated that WINNER would bring what they could do the best to demonstrate that they’re still sound and strong despite losing a member. But instead, they released a song that the public could easily listen to and sing after it. Singing the lyrics, “I like you,” WINNER delivered the message within the music with neatly processed sounds. They took a completely different approach to love and confessions that “Some” by Soyou & Junggigo took only 3-4 years ago. It’s a trendy song that captures the rapidly changing sentiments of teenage idol fans.
Soyou x Junggigo – Some (feat. Lil Boi of Geeks) (2014)
“Some” is a medium-tempo song that brings Junggigo’s soulful, unique romantic singing voice and Sistar Soyou’s pure tone together. On top of that, Lil Boi’s chill rap nicely wraps up the song. Junggigo had perfectly caught the trend and composed an addictive melody line that perfectly fits its lyrics. He used the concept of “some,” a newly coined word for many of us, and connected with listeners in the most pleasantly surprising way. Soyou’s voice melted into the song and proved that she could deliver good music even though she isn’t the group’s main vocalist. It became the song that comes first in our minds when we think of duets in the K-pop scene. It is a well-written song without any overused elements with excellent arrangements and vocals.
Editor Yoon: I love music, especially K-POP, and I dream of becoming an A&R person, lyricist, artist, etc. I will cover various articles, including song reviews, artist reviews, and K-pop market analysis.
Translator Esther Lee: I’ll be providing you with up-to-date, reliable Korean entertainment news. Enjoy!