Idology, a local long-standing critic webzine on K-Pop, recently released their take on a list of songs from 2019 that had the best and most meaningful lyrics. Here are 10 that really hit close to the heart.
1. BTS’s “Dream Glow”
The kind boys that were easy to raise were hiding their scratched up knees. My star sign is a fragment of the sun, a shining darkness, the dance of the shadows.
– “Dream Glow” by BTS
These lyrics were with Jimin in mind, so said the lyricist, Bobby Jung. The lines were particularly impactful as they follow right after English lyrics and are the first Korean lyrics in the song. They especially point out the persona’s character as well as make use of oxymorons with “shining darkness”, creating a beautiful comparison for the listener.
2. NCT Dream’s “BOOM”
The kids that used to dance with an innocent expression, now light up this track while smiling.
– “BOOM” by NCT Dream
Idology’s critic, Jo Eun Jae says that one of the selling points of idols is when fans are able to watch over their idols’ growth. Especially for NCT DREAM, they have shown incredible development and these lyrics perfectly encapsulate them, as they transition from wide-eyed rookies to seasoned professionals.
3. Taeyeon’s “Four Seasons”
I want to see something else.
– “Four Seasons” by Taeyeon
This song details the lull period in a relationship where the couple experiences a stagnancy in feelings towards each other. This line in particular, although short and simple, drives in the notion of being bored of each other and the need for something new.
4. Red Velvet’s “Psycho”
Don’t look back, let’s just go like this, in a way that’s like us
– “Psycho” by Red Velvet
Idology describes “Psycho” as a song that is most suited for public appeal, out of all their songs. The trendy melody and flashy concept are able to persuade the public to take a listen. This line of lyrics in particular reminds listeners that a relationship should be based on only the two involved. It also estranges the past with a promise of a future. Overall, it fits the theme of the song the best, along with the chorus line “they won’t understand us”, proving the stubbornness of young love.
5. (G)I-DLE’s “Lion”
Now raise the sound of the cheers, everyone look up, as the young lion is putting on the crown
– “Lion” by (G)I-DLE
The majestic beats of the song comes to a climax at this line with Minnie‘s charming voice. Idology’s critic, Randy, praises it as a perfect example of theatric word-painting in lyrics. While the first verse repeats itself in the second, the latter is sung with a higher octave. In the music video as well, Minnie is seen to put a crown atop her own head – a scene to remember, for being a Queen or King is about self-confidence and taking things into your own hands.
6. IU’s “Unlucky”
You don’t have to love with all your heart, it’s okay to be unhappy for a day
– “Unlucky” by IU
The song starts off with these lines, a reminder that it is okay to be down sometimes. “We’re still good without luck”, is a fresh take on the notion that we must always be lucky in life to be happy or at peace. The song also seems like a song IU has written to cheer herself, or fans up, while the relatable lyrics make it a meaningful one for general listeners too.
7. TXT’s “Run Away”
It seems like everyone is happy but me
– “Run Away” by TXT
The song’s Korean title originally means, “I’ll be waiting for you at Platform 9 3/4”, a reference to the mystical pathway to Hogwarts. Although the line may seem like your typical emo song at first, it is a good development point for their overall conceptual world of being magical land beings that landed smack in the middle of the real world. As they observe the dissonance between themselves and the real world, they can’t help but feel estranged and return to the pathway back to magic.
8. Sulli’s “Goblin”
Just what do you feel has gone wrong? I’m right here.
– “Goblin” by Sulli
In a world seen through a mirrored maze, although everything else may be distorted, the one thing that stands true is the being right in front of you. Perhaps this is the message that the song wants to convey to people – although everyone else may have been busy concealing themselves with mirrors and deception, Sulli was the one that bravely unveiled herself to everyone just as she was.
I only wanted to say hi.
– “Gobin” by Sulli
9. CLC’s “NO”
You try to teach me, pretending to be concerned for me. It’s okay for you to stop – your lips will only hurt. I suit a colder tone of voice more, I won’t change just for you
– “NO” by CLC
In 2019, there was a slew of songs that expressed the importance of acting on your own accords and a rebellion against the old-fashioned attitudes that packaged up societal’s hierarchical roots in a wrapper of “culture”. CLC’s “NO” perfectly encapsulates that confident stance.
10. OH MY GIRL’s “The Fifth Season”
A dream you dream with your two eyes wide open
– “The Fifth Season” by OH MY GIRL
A line that seems like a run-on from their previous song, “Secret Garden” that goes “You may not be able to see anything yet”, in “The Fifth Season”, the beautiful place that the two have dreamed of together becomes a reality.
Did your favorite song from 2019 make it into the list? With the amount of songs being churned out each year by the K-Pop industry, these songs stood out the most to Idology critics. Regardless, as long as a song is meaningful to the listener, who is to say otherwise?