As I said in the last post, what you love and what you listen to is not necessarily the same. I was surprised at which girl groups I actually spent the most time on, and therefore I will of course do the same thing with boy groups. This list will be a countdown of my actual nine favorite boy groups, placed in order based on how much I listen to them. And of course, just as last time, I will not include any solo or unit songs in the calculations, since those often don’t follow the musical style of the group.
I will also recommend songs for each of these entries, and the higher on this list they are, the more songs I will recommend.
Back in 2012 when B.A.P debuted I fell madly in love with them. They were hard-hitting in a way that I hadn’t seen any other kpop group be. I fell in love with their music and their image, and I was devastated to hear about their lawsuit. I’m very happy to hear that they will be coming back, but I’m not so sure about them staying on with TS Entertainment. They better have gotten a mighty good deal.
“Badman” – I didn’t really get it when it first came out, it sounded a bit disjointed to me. But I’ve fallen so hard for it since that I just can’t recommend anything else.
8. Block B
While I’ve never had that deep of a personal relationship with Block B, I have counted them as one of my favorite groups for some time now since I am so in love with the style of music they put out. I’m surprised they aren’t higher up.
“Wanna B” – This is the song that was partly promoted next to their debut single, and this proves that while “Freeze!” was a huge mess, Block B did have their amazing sound from the very start.
“Halo” – This amazing song is from their great 2012 album “Blockbuster” and it’s definitely one of my favorite things from Block B ever. If you haven’t heard it, you’ve missed out.
I truly never expected to see FTISLAND on this level. They are one of the more recent additions to my groups and I don’t spend much personal time with them. But I do enjoy their music quite a bit.
“Marry Me” – Super sweet song from the “Cross & Change” album, and that might also have been an OST song for the drama Lie to Me. (?) I’m not the kind of person that really dreams about getting married, but this song kind of makes those thoughts pop up regardless.
“I Wish” – This is a 2012 single of FTISLAND’s, and one of the first songs of theirs I heard. It has a great kind of Spanish sound in the verses that I really like.
“Pray” – This is FTISLAND’s latest single from this year, and definitely the most hard rock I’ve ever heard them go. I was blown away from the first few notes. It’s amazing.
6. Big Bang
In general I think of Big Bang as either my second or third favorite boy group, but I am aware of the fact that a lot of that comes from my love for the members. So this position seems about right.
“B.I.G.B.A.N.G” – This is from their 2008 Japanese EP “For the World”. And please, check out the English version. It’s all kinds of glorious.
“Number 1” – From their 2008 Japanese album with the same name, this song is also all kinds of glorious.
“Loser” – This is from the “M” of “MADE” and the first song that I heard from this months long comeback they’ve been pulling this year. It’s really good and definitely holds up against the later releases.
“Let’s Not Fall in Love” – This one is from the “E” in “MADE” and it’s really really good. It’s definitely Big Bang’s most relatable song yet.
5. Super Junior
Super Junior sort of feels like a crack group to me, so I really didn’t think they had this kind of musical influence in my life. Not that I really mind, a great Super Junior track can make any situation better.
“Victory Korea” – This was a special song they released in 2010, as a kind of fight song for the Korean football team. It doesn’t matter if you’re not Korean, or if you’re not playing football, this song will motivate you to win no matter what!
“Bonamana” – This 2010 single from the group was the first song of theirs I ever heard. With Swedish subtitles at that. Did not make it better.
“Rockstar” – This absolutely glorious song is from Super Junior’s 2012 album “Sexy, Free & Single”. It might not be that good, but it is amazing.
“This Is Love” – After having been gone for over two years Super Junior made a grand return with their 2014 album “Mamacita” and this pretty song was eventually promoted as a follow-up single. It shows a more sophisticated side of Super Junior that we aren’t used to seeing.
“Too Many Beautiful Girls” – This is another song off the “Mamacita” album and it sounds like a One Direction song. That’s for sure. To most kpop fans that might sound like a huge insult, but I don’t mean it that way. One Direction’s older stuff at least has a great sing-along quality and an upbeat and happy vibe, and it’s in that way this song is similar.
CNBLUE have been with me for some time now, and they’re in general what I turn to when I need something a bit more acoustic sounding in my life. Normally at the end of a long SM promotional period.
“I’m a Loner” – This was CNBLUE’s big debut song in Korea, and it perfectly defined them right from the get-go. It’s oddly cheerful despite its fairly depressing lyrics.
“Intuition” – This 2011 single from the group is one of the funkier singles they’ve released, and one of my favorites.
“One of a Kind” – CNBLUE have a delightful habit of including songs with English lyrics, and this bonus track off of their 2011 album “First Step” is one of those. Their pronunciation might not be perfect, but being able to sing along with ease definitely makes up for it.
“Coffee Shop” – This song is from the 2013 album “Re:Blue” and was one of the absolute first songs I heard from the group. At the time I didn’t drink coffee at all, but this song made me want to start.
“More Than You” – This is also from the “Re:Blue” album, and it’s frankly stunning. You can’t listen to it and not hear the beauty.
“Can’t Stop” – This, their 2014 single, was a bit of a slower and more pop-sounding sound compared to how their singles usually sound, but it was so gloriously done that I never could have minded.
BTS have not been around for that extremely long, but they’ve grown into quite the powerful group, both in kpop in general and in my musical preference. They do their brand of music fantastically, and show no signs of slowing down yet.
“The Rise of Bangtan” – Really great song from their 2013 EP “O!RUL8,2?”. It’s fun yet rough, which is what BTS do perfectly.
“Satoori Rap” – From that same album, this is the rap line stretching their wings and truly showing what they’re made of, in dialect.
“Boy In Luv” – BTS amazing single that showed that even though the new year of 2014 was upon them, they saw no reason to slow down. It’s super sweet and innocent when you look at the lyrics, even though it might not sound that way. It was also one of my favorite songs of last year.
“War of Hormones” – This became my favorite song on last year’s “Dark & Wild” album as soon as it was released, and that fact that they eventually promoted it as well blew my mind with joy.
“Dope” – A song from this year’s album and the last one they’ve been promoting. I’m quite sure you’ve all heard it.
“Boyz with Fun” – I’d probably say this is my favorite song off their latest album, it’s so gloriously fun.
I’ve said it plenty of times, I never intended to like EXO. But I do, I really do. (Especially in this OT12 state). I love the boys, and as it turns out I also really enjoy the music. It’ll be a fun ride, for as long as it lasts.
“Two Moons” – This super badass song is from EXO’s first album “Mama” and featured the lovely Key of SHINee. EXO are not super strong rappers, but they didn’t need to be, this song was amazing anyway.
“Wolf” – This 2013 single of EXO’s seems to be quite hated within the fandom, but this was actually the song that turned me into a real EXO fan. I know, crazy shit.
“Baby Don’t Cry” – I’m a big fan of anything overdramatic, and this song is just that. Plus it’s inspired by the really great original version of an awesome fairytale.
“Let Out the Beast” – This song is super motivating when working out, especially if you hate it as much as I do. I get so filled with rage that it truly feels like there’s a beast inside me.
“Miracles in December” – I’m not normally a fan of ballads, but this is so beautiful that not even I can deny it. I’d recommend looking up the live version where D.O, Chen, Baekhyun and Luhan all sing together.
“Run” – I never truly fell in love with EXO’s 2014 single “Overdose”, but this song from that album is worth more than a few listens.
“Call Me Baby” – This is one of the two singles EXO have released this year, and it’s in my opinion definitely the better of the two. I loved it from first listen.
“El Dorado” – Yes, “Call Me Baby” might have been great, but the real star of the “Exodus” album was this song. You can not listen to this without wanting to set sail.
There might be certain surprising aspects to these rankings, but this is not one. SHINee is my absolute favorite group, in every aspect, and they actually have almost 2,5 times the amount of songs in my phone that EXO has. SHINee is safe and secure as the kings of my music library.
“Run With Me” – This is from SHINee’s 2013 album “Boys Meet U” and the only Japanese song on here. I don’t listen much to Japanese releases, not even SHINee’s, but this one is lovely and you should listen to it.
“Girls, Girls, Girls” – Super fan service song from the first part of their 2013 album “The Misconceptions”. This is SHINee trying to teach maknae Taemin how to pick up girls. Of course, they all have their own ideas on how that’s done.
“Punch Drunk Love” – This is from the same place as “Girls, Girls, Girls” and my friend Leo literally won’t listen to it with me, since I always start punching her when the chorus kicks in. I’m sorry, I love you, but I can’t help it!
“Orgel” – This is from the second part of the “The Misconceptions” album and this experimental ballad is super haunting, beautiful yet creepy.
“Colorful” – This is from SHINee’s late 2013 EP “Everybody” and it is one of the most cheerful and uplifting songs they’ve ever made. SHINee, you make my life colorful.
“Electric Heart” – I personally think that the 2010 album “Lucifer” is one of the best things SHINee have made, and this song could definitely be considered for the position of best song on that album. Plus Key loves it, and we should all trust his taste.
“Ready or Not” – Back in the days when I still punished myself by going running regularly, this song from the “Lucifer” album was always the first song on my playlist. No, SHINee, I’m not ready.
“Woof Woof” – This super funky and amazing song is from their latest album “Odd” that they released this year. Best song on the album, in my opinion.
“Last Gift” – Let’s wrap this up with this stunning ballad that even I like from their first album “The Shinee World” from back in 2008.
I could have recommended way more SHINee songs for sure, but I had limited myself to a certain number of songs per position. If you put the girl and boy lists together and make one nine-piece list you’d get this result:
- Girls’ Generation
- Super Junior
- Big Bang
So it’s clear that I do listen more to boy groups than I do to girl groups. It’s also clear that I have more of a preference for SM’s music than I ever thought.