Top 50(ish) Songs of 2021

Posted by Stephanie on December 30, 2021


I thought I was going to come in seriously under this year, but, as always, as I gathered the songs of the year, I ended up with way more than my allotted 50 songs. I was trying to reduce it further, but then… realized that this will be the last Thursday Musical post, my last top 50 songs of the year, and figured, fuck it. I’m going to leave all the ones I want in here because I’m the boss and I’m allowed to do that.

I’m not sure what my choices said about the type of year that I had, but I think that this one came through with a lot more…mellow angsty songs. It also has a lot of fun new finds and some returning loves. All in all, musically, it was a pretty good year.

(Organized by release date of the video)

Victon, What I said

I want to say that this is the second year in a row that Victon has made it to the list. While I like them all… you know I’m waiting for the part in the song where Hanse raps.

EpiK High, Rosario

I love Epik High, they are so cool. I’m very, very excited to be able to see them when they come to Denver in March (hopefully). I’m going to have a picture with Epik High!!! (Hopefully) Here they continue on with their love of the vertical video. They colab with the coolest people. Also, this reminds me of how I miss Zico.

Hoppipolla, Your Ocean

This song is here by the pure power of the chorus. True slow power ballad where you sing with your eyes closed while fisting your hand in front of you….real slow. You know the move.

Hyuna, I’m Not Cool

I wanted to not like this song, for some reason HyunA weirds me out a bit… but this song is catchy as fuck. This dance? Prancing around the house with finger guns.

Chan, Anymore (Feat. Bigone)

I don’t think I know anything about this artist, but the song popped up, I listened and instantly was like, oh, that’s a keeper.

Bobby, U Mad

While pretty much anything Bobby puts out is a keeper. I’ve loved him before IKON, I loved him in IKON, I’ll love him after IKON. (Though I’m glad they didn’t kick him out of the group after he announced his upcoming marriage and baby.)

I.M, God Damn

I didn’t care for this song at first but maaaaannnn I.M being all sexy and naughty? How could I stay away? I hope he sings this at the concert in February!

ONF, My Name Is

This song is super cute. I haven’t loved a lot of ONF’s songs, but this one where they are introducing all of the members is just super cute.

Chung Ha, Dream Of You

This song kept popping up on a playlist I created off a Jessi song, and after the first couple of listens, it super grew on me. I’d listen to more Chung Ha.

WEi, All Or Nothing

I think this is one that SaraG played for me on a night where we were watching videos down in her basement and she was trying to come up with newbies I might like… she was right.

A.C.E, Jindo Arirang (Prequel)

And A.C.E makes its first appearance to the list! I’m a sucker for idols in hanboks being all historically patriotic.

ATEEZ, The Leaders

A non-A Side song! This song kept popping up on my running mix, I’d go “Who dis?” and I’d be reminded it was ATEEZ and then I’d be reminded why I love ATEEZ. I love the whisper part.

DPR IAN, Nerves

This song. This was my song. On repeat for hours at a time. This song speaks to me… probably not in the healthiest way, but its comforting when you’re in one of those spirals that you’re not the only one who’s ever felt like this. I’M DOING FINE. SWEAR IT’S NOT A LIE.

DPR IAN, Welcome to the Show

What can I say, once I hopped on the DPR Ian train, there was nowhere to go but forward. I’d say, man, I wish this had a video but honestly, I don’t love his videos.

ROSÉ, On The Ground

I’m a big BlackPink music fan, and this year I learned this spreads to their solo work.

Seori, Lovers In The Night

Yay, surprise finds! I love this song and the video with all the different couples both straight and LGBT. To no one’s (or everyone’s) surprise, this is not the last time you’ll see Seori on the list.

Chanmina, Bijin

I love a deep-throated rapper, and that extends to the ladies of the genre. CHANMINA is a South Korean/Japanese rapper who is pretty freaking awesome. And this video is pretty epic.

LambC, Jelly

How can you say no to this song? Answer: You can’t so why even try. Unfortunately, this is a song I put on my list without really investigating the group and I realize that was short-sighted of me. I should go and give their other stuff a listen.

IU, Celebrity

This is the first time that IU showed up on one of my lists both official or unofficial, but I find myself really liking this song, so here it goes.

Bae173, Loved You

I think this is another from that SaraG night. It got on the list because it really gave me B1A4 vibes and sometimes I really miss them.

Simon Dominic & Loco, 밤이 되면

Simon Dominic? Loco? Together? Being all dark and sexy and mob-y? Swooooon.

OnlyOneOf, libidO

This song is so naughty 😀

A.C.E, Down (feat. Grey)

While it hurts my heart that WOW wasn’t here for the song, it really makes me happy to listen and watch the video… I mean, even more than my usual A.C.E happiness.

Enhypen, Drunk-Dazed

I haven’t really paid attention to Enhypen before. Should I?

NCT Dream, Hot Sauce

This dumb-dumb song really got stuck in my head and then suddenly one day I was like “Uhoh…do I actually LIKE this???”

Wonho, Ain’t About You (feat Kiiara)

And Wonho made the list! This song is really pretty and he’s right, it ain’t always about you-o-o-o-o, Boo.

Full DaSH, 잇츠원

The rapper project group of Bobby… that one rapper… and the other one. (Both of whom I should probably know.) Such a fun song. If it didn’t win the challenge (and I don’t think it did), it SHOULD have. (Further research the other two rappers are from The Boyz and SF9)

Taemin, Advice

This came out when LizC and I were on our road trip! Hope Taemin is doing well in the military!

Ateez, Answer: Ode To Joy

This song not only didn’t get ATEEZ the win, I believe they scored last for it, which is PROOF that Stephanie should never watch these shows as she’d just be perpetually angry. This performance is pretty magical.

Monsta X, Rotate

I’ve slipped a bit from my love of Monsta X, which is sad. This year I’m happy to say I’m back on the Monsta X train!

Epix, Lockdown

This is another group where I really liked the song and then didn’t go any further. Which I should probably fix. I don’t love the shouty/chanty parts, but I’m here for the rest of the song.


I can’t believe this song made the list. If I were keeping strict to the 50 songs, it may have been cut, but that’s not what this year is about. BM is hawt, he has that deep-throated rapper thing going for him… so he gets to stay on the list.

DPR Live, Yellow Cab

At first I HATED this song, but turns out? I just didn’t love the video. Once I started listening to the song on its own, I realized it was super catchy and I’d say myself just randomly singing “Sweet, Sweet Jesus” in public… ouch. Now, I can say I love this song and try to remember to separate the video from the song itself.

D.O. Rose

D.O! This is probably the sweetest thing ever. It absolutely gives me Jack Johnson/Jason Mraz vibes. I’m delighted that D.O. came out with a solo album… so delighted I actually bought it. There’s also an English version you should check out (I’m not putting the second version on the playlist so it doesn’t play the same song twice:

Ten, Paint Me Naked

*Giggles* That’s all I got. Ten. Singing to me. Talking about painting him naked, often very shirtless. I’m in. So in.

CIX, Here For You

Another surprise find of the year, turns out, I think I loved this album!

A.C.E Changer

This one gives me Down feels but with all of the boys back in their rightful places… you know, right until both Wow and Donghun headed off to the military for a year and a half??


For some reason I didn’t think I was going to like this, but I was wrong. Its fun. I especially loved the Thai styling section.

Stray Kids, Cheese

Stray Kids make the list! I’m a little embarrassed its with a song called Cheese, but you do you boys.

Monsta X, One Day

This song. THIS SONG is the one that made me fall head over heels again with Monsta X. Such a beautiful song! I decided to go with this live version of the song because its just so good and they look great.

Seori, Dive With You (Feat. eaJ)

Told you Seori would show up on the list again! Her voice is just so pretty.

NCT 127, Lemonade

I wish this had been the A-Side of the album, I like it so much more than Sticker. A song about lemonade shouldn’t be sexy and yet… here it is.

Do Hanse, Take Over

I-Love-Do-Hanse. I was so excited to see him come out with his mix tape. If it had come out in album form, I would have bought it, the styling on this was so awesome. Gave me old school GDragon vibes.

NIK, Universe

I watched this video and instantly decided “I’m going to become a fan of this group.” They are super newbies so it will be interesting to see what they come out with.

AB6IX, Cherry

Not usually a huge fan of AB6IX, but this song and video version were just charming.

Seventeen, Rock With You

So Good. Like magically good. Like where you been Seventeen, good. Oh, you’ve been here, putting out music waiting for me to come back to you? Cool. Well. Here I am.

B.I, Cosmos

So happy to have B.I on the list. For some reason I’m not sure why I’m surprised that he came out with a song so cute, but, I’m so glad that he did. You can’t help but smile while listening/watching.

T-ARA, Tiki Taka

Talk about surprises! I’m not sure what I’m more surprised at, the idea that T-ARA came back with more music or that I instantly actually really liked it. Could be the nostalgia, but if I think back, I actually did like T-ARA back in the day. Good to know they still have it.

Gemini, Mia (Feat. Camo, Woodz)

Not sure how this one showed up on my list. There was a while there where I was listening to playlists and anytime I thought I liked something I’d add it to the 2021 possibility list. Or it could be a SaraG recommendation. But wherever it came to me, I’m glad it’s here, because it’s staying on the list.

Bang Yongguk, Race


Gaho, Right Now

As soon as this song came out it was instant repeat. Gaho can out powersong anyone out there. His whole album was good but this song? It was it for me.

Stray Kids, Christmas EveL

Not quite believing I’m adding a Christmas song to the list but this Christmas song was fun and Felix’s “Felice Navidad… I can feel the evil coming but Felix never bad…” how can you not reward that?

Pain, Isaac Hong

Could be that I Happiness so much that it bleeds over to the OST, but I remember while watching giving them kudos for their musical choices.

Xdinary Heroes, Happy Death Day

This one, this one I found on my own. So proud whenever that happens. And of course, on my own means, it popped up in my Youtube feed. This song is so unique. I think this is JYP’s first band and I love the JYP spin on a band. I will absolutely be keeping my eye on Xdinary Heroes.

ATEEZ, The Real

They performed a version of this song for Kingdom but with their newest release they came out with this instantly catchy version and a video where they just look amazing. Fingers crossed everyone that the concert in January actually happens. I NEED to see them. (I mean, unless it’s unsafe, and then boys, just stay home, we want you to be healthy and we’ll wait for you…but if you could not cancel this concert, that would also be great.)

The Rose, Beauty and the Beast

THE ROSE IS BACK. Except they aren’t. This is a song they recorded before going off to the military and will be the last song their old agency will be putting out now they came to an agreement to get out of the contract. It’s weird that they chose to put it out now, but who knows what was going on in the background. Here’s hoping that The Rose comes back quickly when all the boys get out of the military in a couple of months.


So those are my favorite songs of 2021! If you want, here is a playlist of all of them for easier consumption:


  • Reply Jami January 1, 2022 at 5:42 am

    Junior McFeeley will be THRILLED to see Enhypen and Xdinary Heroes songs here and Mr. McFeeley will jump for joy over the inclusion of TWO Stray Kids songs. I – on the other hand – feel the need to remind you that JYP DOES have a band already – my beloved Day6. They are in serious limbo currently, with members in the military and – a of today – no Jae, but they are amazing and you need to check them out! <3

    • Reply Stephanie January 3, 2022 at 10:19 am

      WHOOPS. Serious oversight on my part. I’ve even seen them LIVE. To clarify, its not that I forgot they existed, I forgot they were JYP.

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