What you love and what you listen to doesn’t have to be the same, I’ve found. You might love a group for their style, their image, their dancing, their personalities but only be moderately fond of their music. Or you might think that you’re not that into a group, but still spend loads of your time listening to them. This list will be counting down the nine girl groups that I actually spend the most time on, the groups with the most downloaded songs. For once I will acknowledge my actual group ranking.
Also, I will include no subunit or solo songs in the calculations, since they sometimes have music styles that are widely different compared to the main group. This is about the groups as a whole, and who they are.
I’m not majorly surprised to see Secret here. I do like them some, but they’re still not super high up, so ninth seems about right. Secret is a very versatile group, capable of doing both sexy and cute concepts very well. Personally I definitely prefer their sexy concepts, but I can enjoy both.
“Magic” – I’m not sure why people don’t love this song. The chorus may have some awkward pronunciation, but it’s still a fab track.
If you’ve followed me for a while, or just been attentive enough, you will know that this is my favorite girl group in the whole world of kpop. But as it turns out, I don’t listen to them all that much. I guess I love them more for who they are and for what they portray than for the actual music they put out. I’m honestly surprised.
“Come Back Home” – Probably the absolute best single they’ve ever put out. It pulled 2NE1 out of a slump (in my opinion) and reminded me in the most direct way why they’re my favorite group to begin with.
“Can’t Nobody” – The song that made me a Blackjack to begin with. It’s such a banger, and it will make you want to stand up and dance.
This group debuted just last year, so it’s extremely impressive that they’re already on this level for me. They’re one of the most vocally talented group in all of kpop, and put out music that isn’t that common in kpop and that I love. Despite their relative newness, I am not surprised to see them up here.
“Mr. Ambiguous” – This is their debut track and the song that grabbed me from the first few notes. It still might be the very best single they’ve made.
“Piano Man” – The follow-up track to “Mr. Ambiguous” is smooth and sexy and just freaking awesome.
“Um Oh Ah Yeh” – Their latest track took them a little more into the mainstream kpop sound, and I didn’t get the hype at first. But now damn, do I get it.
6. Wonder Girls
Wonder Girls was the very first kpop group I ever encountered, and I had literally no idea that they were still on this level for me. That might sound weird, that I listen to a group a lot without even noticing it, but be honest; who of us really know how many songs we’ve downloaded from someone?
“So Hot” – The first song I ever heard from Wonder Girls, and the song that started my whole interest for kpop way back in 2009. If you’ve ever listened to the English version, just try and argue that you don’t sing along to every line.
“Like Money” – This is a song from back when Wonder Girls tried and failed to break into the American music market. It’s not that good, I’ll admit that, but it’s so incredibly catchy and dance-worthy that I just can’t skip it.
“Me, in” – Super sexy track off of their “Wonder World” album. It’s about *whispers* sex. But you didn’t hear that from me.
“I Feel You” – This is their latest track and their comeback after three years of absence. Wonder Girls were always about retro and this time they went hardcore eighties. I didn’t like it at first listen, but this song most certainly grows on you.
4Minute was the first kpop group I ever saw live and that alone gives them an edge over every other group ever. I’m not at all surprised to see them up here, I enjoy them loads.
“Crazy” – Their latest single and one of the absolute best they’ve ever released. They went more hiphop than usually, and killed it.
“HuH” – One of my absolute favorite songs from 4Minute but that I don’t see getting nearly enough attention.
“Whatever” – A song off of their “Name is 4Minute” album. It’s very straightforward and kind of sexy. I’ve definitely listened to this song with a specific person in mind more than once. “We can do whatever…”
“Volume Up” – The most impressive thing 4Minute have ever done vocally.
“Whatcha Doin’ Today” – Definitely one of 4Minute’s most memorable singles, and I have sung the chorus more than I’d maybe like to admit.
4. Miss A
First, how stunning is this picture? I don’t think Suzy has ever looked better.
Miss A is my third favorite girl group so this placement for them seems reasonable. Their image is one of my absolute favorites in all of kpop. They’re self-assured and know what they want. They’re bad girls sort of, but never gimmicky. They’re everything I think many of us want to be.
“Bad Girl Good Girl” – Their debut song was flawless. This song established Miss A’a whole image, and they haven’t diverted much since.
“Lips” – Off of their “Touch” album, this song is the sexiest thing they’ve done in my opinion. I have found myself inappropriately humming it more than one time while hanging with my boyfriend.
“I Don’t Need a Man” – The title alone makes this one of Miss A’s strongest efforts.
“Hush” – This is the sexiest Miss A have ever gone in a single so far, and I for sure wish they’ll revisit that some day. Soon.
“I Caught Ya” – The song off of their “Colors” album that I’ve listened to the most, and definitely one I’ll listen to if I ever get cheated on. Props to Suzy for the lyrics.
“Love Song” – Also off their latest “Colors” album, this is not a song to be ignored.
T-ARA is a group that I’m a little surprised to see up here. Not because I don’t like them, I clearly do, but I don’t spend much time with them on a personal level, so I’ve never ever thought of them as my third favorite girl group. Fifth or sixth, sure. But third? Nah-ah.
“Why Are You Being Like This?” – This is a song from earlier in T-ARA’s days and it has that innate quality that the older T-ARA material pretty much always has. It’s super catchy, and it will teach you how to ask this question in Korean. You won’t be able to forget how.
“Lovey Dovey” – In 2013 T-ARA made a quite distinct shift in sound, but that still felt natural. This was one of the last singles they released that retained their “old school” T-ARA vibe. It’s disco and catchy, all that a great T-ARA song should be.
“Round and Round” – This is a song that I don’t ever hear being mentioned whenever T-ARA are talked about. But that I really enjoy! It’s very retro, and simple to enjoy.
“Don’t Leave” – This isn’t the style of music that I at least think about when I think of T-ARA. It’s their take on a dramatic ballad, and its level of drama works for me. I think it’s pretty damn beautiful.
“Sexy Love” – For sure one of my favorite T-ARA singles. It’s got a robotic video game-y kind of catchiness that just can’t be denied. Plus it always reminds me of this guy I know, for no good reason.
“Number Nine” – This was the song that somehow transported T-ARA into a more current type of music, while still perfectly retaining their easily identifiable sound. Hyomin’s awkward rap ruins it, but besides that it’s great.
“Sugar Free” – Their single from last year, and for sure one of the best things T-ARA have ever done. Maybe even the best. The beat alone is outstanding.
I absolutely love f(x) and generally refer to them as my fourth favorite girl group. They’re a bit higher here, but it’s not a huge difference so I’m not shocked. They’re an excellent group.
“La Cha Ta” – This was f(x)’s debut single and set the tone for their music from the very start. It’s quirky and has a bit of an attitude, as f(x) do, but also has a cuteness to it that’s appropriate for a group that young.
“Shadow” – A song off of f(x)’s amazing “Pink Tape” album, this haunting song either describes the “love” a stalker has for the person they’re stalking or the love a literal shadow has for the person that casts the shadow. A very cool experimental piece.
“Pretty Girl” – Another song off of the same album, this song talks about how the world is full of substance-less pretty girl, and how it’s time for them to move to the side. It’s time for the princess to make way for the wicked witch of the west.
“Step” – Yet another song off of the glorious “Pink Tape” album, this song talks off how today they are just too busy to wear heels. It’s a metaphor for there being more important and worthwhile things to focus on in life instead of your looks.
“No More” – Okay just one more song from the “Pink Tape” album… This song is them criticizing a friend of theirs that just keeps changing depending on what guy she’s dating. I wouldn’t say that’s something I do, but certain parts of this song really felt like they were telling me to get my act together. I promise I’ll try, okay?
“Red Light” – This is f(x)’s latest single, and the last single they’ll probably ever release as a five-member group. It’s very different from what they have done before, and from what you’ll hear in kpop as a whole.
“Paper Heart” – This is a song from the “Red Light” album, and while I thought I’d never ever relate to a song as sweet as this with lyrics about how their heart is as fragile as paper, this album was released at a time when I really felt like that. And thus, I really appreciated it.
“Dracula” – Finally, this is another song from the “Red Light” album. It’s a little strange and a little weird, but somehow it just comes together.
1. Girls’ Generation
I surely didn’t expect Girls’ Generation to win this, especially not with a bit of a margin. I do normally refer to them as my second favorite girl group, but I used to think that was more due to me being sentimental and loving my goddesses than to them being really good.
“Into the New World” – Girls’ Generation may not have made it big from the very start with their debut song, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of my favorite songs and choreographies from them. Pre major plastic surgery and fancy styling there was a freshness to Girls’ Generation that this song perfectly exemplifies.
“Gee” – This was both the song that shot Girls’ Generation to major fame and the song that I first encountered them by. It’s disgustingly cute and catchy in an infamous way.
“Run Devil Run” – After having been frustratingly cute ever since debut this was the girls’ first venture into anything edgy. I still remember how absolutely in love with it I was when I first encountered it.
“Top Secret” – This song from the “The Boys” album is a direct message to all the stalkers of Girls’ Generation. Basically telling them in the most lady-like way possible that their lives are private, and for the stalkers to go fuck themselves.
“Talk Talk” – Album tracks are the place to experiment with new sounds, and this song off of the “I Got a Boy” album is an excellent example of how flawlessly sassy the result can be.
“Mr.Mr.” – This single from last year was the girls’ first clear step away from being girls. They’re now mature women, and this song was an excellent way of announcing that.
“Back Hug” – This beautifully harmonized ballad is from the “Mr.Mr.” album and did the impossible. It’s a ballad, and it doesn’t bore me! Girls’ Generation is a large group and they’ve sung together for plenty of time, which means sometimes their harmonizing skills are no joke.
“Catch Me If You Can” – I was blown away when this song was released earlier this year, both because it was so good and because it was the sexiest and most line-balanced thing Girls’ Generation had ever done.
“Lion Heart” – Out of the three singles Girls’ Generation have released this year to promote their new studio album, this is definitely my favorite. It’s retro and smooth in all the right ways.
It might have seemed unfair that I recommended so many more songs for first place than for ninth, but that was completely deliberate and felt reasonable to me. I hope these recommendations helped you find at least one new song that you didn’t know before!
What girl group do you listen the absolute most to? Does the answer surprise you?