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The Top Three K-Pop Songs of May 2024

At the end of each month, I look back at my three favorite title tracks by K-pop artists. I take my own ratings into account, but there’s a bit of wiggle room as certain songs tend to grow or fade.

May 2024 Overall Thoughts

There were a number of big-name releases in May, yet somehow the month felt more like a holding pattern. Many of these hyped comebacks ended up fizzling for me (ZEROBASEONE, NewJeans, Stray Kids, ATEEZ, aespa pt.2), eclipsed by lesser-known acts.

Speaking of these acts, May was definitely the month of solid tracks from low-to-mid tier boy groups and soloists. My playlist was flush with great singles from Fantasy Boys, YOUNITE, Just B, DXMON, TOZ, The Wind, ONEUS, JD1 and B.I. All of these songs were ranked in the mid or high 8’s on the blog — super solid and enjoyable if not life-changing. Almost all of them could have shuffled into my second and third place slots. It felt a bit random to choose just two.

With all this decent music, May still felt quite slight. I think it’s because most of these songs were part of a single album or simply a standalone digital single. So while we had nice variety this month, there weren’t many actual albums to sink your teeth into. That meant very few awesome b-sides, too. The “biggest” album of the month came from aespa. Supernova remains an easy May standout, but I wasn’t impressed by anything else on the record. I enjoyed tripleS’s album slightly more, but no track stood out as an undisputed, knock-my-socks-off highlight.

I’ve also been struck by the disparity between girl groups and boy groups this year. I tend to prefer the sounds peddled by boy groups, but I know there are many K-pop fans who listen exclusively to girl groups. I have to wonder, are these fans being fed? A quick review of this month reveals twenty-one boy group reviews and only nine girl group reviews. Of course, I don’t review everything that’s released but I do write about any song that rises above a (pretty low) threshold of popularity. With fewer girl group releases, there are fewer chances for these songs to hit. And with so much homogeneity between these releases (airy, subdued Y2K influence), it seems that if you don’t love this particular style you’re kind of out of luck. Girl group stans, what say you? Has 2024’s release slate felt a bit meager so far or are you happy with the level of output?

Instead of music, May felt most notable for idol-related controversy. HYBE’s mess continued to expand and the Burning Sun scandal re-emerged. Idol groups lost members left and right and netizens seemed even more obsessed with charts (and alleged chart manipulation) than ever. I try to stay out of this as much as possible because I don’t find it interesting and the gossip/conspiracy theory side of K-pop is not what I come to this hobby for. But boy did the industry seem to be on fire this month.

This time last year, I was raving about multiple J-pop tracks and much preferred that industry’s output over K-pop. This year, the tables have turned. There have been a few big J-pop highlights, but overall K-pop has been more consistent. I honestly don’t even have a top three J-pop selection this month because nothing really stood out, so the songs I picked are more like placeholders than true highlights. This is despite my favorite group returning after four years with a new album. Unfortunately, Kis-My-Ft2’s Synopsis mostly crashed and burned for me, continuing Starto Entertainment’s lackluster slate of 2024 releases.

I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m really excited about June on all musical fronts. We’ve got some of my favorite current acts (TWS, RIIZE, Infinite, Sunmi, TRENDZ) making comebacks along with some big names (Nayeon, WayV, Kep1er, NewJeans) and wildcards (GHOST9, Everglow, AKMU, CSR, H1-KEY). And those are just the acts that have been announced already! Plus, global pop seems ready to unleash a few long-dormant pop superstars (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, etc) for the summer while next month will finally see the return of rookie group XY in Japan. I hope most of these acts meet or exceed expectations!

Month Cumulative Rating: 7.8

(compiled by averaging the scores of every K-pop review from this month)

J-Pop Highlights

New & Noteworthy J-pop: Week One

New & Noteworthy J-pop: Week Two

New & Noteworthy J-pop: Week Three

New & Noteworthy J-pop: Week Four


3. Novelbright – Empire (ft. Novel Core)

2. BABYMETAL – RATATATA (ft. Electric Callboy)

1. ICEx – Bilimi

Honorable Mentions

ARTMS – Virtual Angel (review)

B.I – Tasty (review)

DXMON – Girls, Love Boys, Love Girls (review)

IVE – Accendio (review)

JD1 – Error 405 (review)

Just B – Daddy’s Girl (review)

ONEUS – Now (review)

Solar – Colors (review)

Suho – 1 to 3 (review)

TOZ – Nu Shoes (review)

Treasure – King Kong (review)

tripleS – Girls Never Die (review)

The Wind – Sirius Pt. 2 (review)

This Month’s Risers and Fallers 

This Month’s Global Pop Round-Up 


3. YOUNITE – Geekin (review)

2. Fantasy Boys – Pitter-Patter-Love (review)

1. aespa – Supernova (review)

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of April 2024

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of March 2024

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of February 2024

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of January 2024

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of December 2023

Top Three K-Pop Songs Of November 2023

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