2018 In Review: Day 16 – Concluding Remarks

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2018 In Review

1. Introduction + Best Album Art
2. Song of the Year
3. Album of the Year
4. R&B and Soul
5. Rock and Alternative
6. Rap and Hip-hop
7. Dance and Electronic
8. Pop and Ballad
9. Folk and Country
10. Jazz and Blues
11. Crossover and World
12. Best Collaborative Work
13. Rookie Artist of the Year
14. Artist of the Year
15. Other Recognition
16. Concluding Remarks

We hope our two-week series has been useful in recapping some of the excellence and uniqueness in 2018’s music. The cycle never stops, and December already brought us numerous interesting releases for 2019; you can look for O.O.O, Night Off, Gaho, and Crucial Star to all feature somewhere in next year’s list.

The series concludes here, but as we do at the end each year, we’ll do a quick roundup of what other publications have picked in their year-end lists.

The Roundup: What Others Have Picked

As we emphasize all the time, our series is not comprehensive – some works are always going to fall through the cracks. A meta-analysis of other publications’ roundups can help fill in those blanks, and also show us what kind of works are getting widespread acclaim.

Below is a list of songs and albums that have been named to other publications’ year-end lists. Outlets surveyed are IZMWeiv, MusicY, Bugs Music, and (starting this year) the Korean Music Awards and Tonplein*. (Weiv** and KMA*** have not released their lists at time of writing, but this article will be updated once they do.) Some excellent outlets including Idology, Hiphopplaya, and Rhythmer are not included as they only cover specific scenes.

Some remarks on notation and details:

  • Works that did not appear in our 2018 In Review are listed in italics. (Specifically, if a song or album did not appear as an entry in any of our genre or general categories – not counting Album Art or Other Recognition – then it is italicized. Honorable mentions count. If a song did not get picked by us but the album containing it did, the song still gets italicized since it didn’t appear on its own merit.)
  • Publications that selected each work appear in brackets, and multiple selections are bolded. If a work in italics is getting universal praise, you could say that we “whiffed” or disagreed that much harder.

Many of the works below that we omitted were simply due to differing opinions, but others were legitimately missed. We hope that you will check them out as well!

*Tonplein added April 2019.
**Weiv’s list has been updated as of January 26, 2019.
***KMA has released nominees as of January 28, 2019.


Adoy – Love [IZM, KMA]
Asian Chairshot – Ignite [IZM, KMA, Tonplein]
Bassagong – 탕아 (Tang-A) [IZM, KMA]
BoA – Woman [KMA]
Bongwol Lee – My Singing Fingers [KMA]
BTS – Love Yourself 轉 ‘Tear’ [IZM, Tonplein]
BTS – Love Yourself 結 ‘Answer’ [KMA] – 주인 없는 금 (Nobody’s Gold) [Weiv, KMA]
Dark Mirror Ov Tragedy – The Lord Ov Shadows [MusicY, Bugs, KMA]
Day of Mourning – This Too Will Pass [KMA]
Decadent – Decadent [KMA]
Electric Planet Five – Waltz, Seoul [Weiv]
H a lot – H a lot [KMA]
Hippy was Gypsy – 언어 (Language) [IZM, KMA]
Horim – Metrocity [KMA]
Huckleberry Finn – 오로라피플 (Aurora People) [MusicY, KMA]
Hwang Puha – 자화상 (Self-Portrait) [KMA]
Hyangni – 2 [MusicY]
Hyunphil Shin X Heean Ko – Dear Chopin [KMA]
Illinit – Cosmos [KMA]
Jaedal – Period [KMA]
Jang Myung-sun – 이르고 무의미한 고백 (A Premature and Meaningless Confession)**** [Weiv]
Jang Pil-soon – Soony Eight: 소길花 (Sogil Flower) [KMA]
Jaurim – Jaurim [KMA]
Jclef – Flaw, Flaw [Bugs, KMA]
Jungsu Choi Tiny Orkester – Tschüss Jazz Era [KMA]
Justhis & Paloalto – 4 the Youth [IZM, KMA]
Jvcki Wai – Enchanted Propaganda [Weiv]
Kang Asol – 사랑의 시절 (The Day of Love) [MusicY, KMA]
Key – Face [Weiv]
Kim Dong-san – 서울 수원 이야기 (Seoul Suwon Story) [KMA]
Kim Hae-won – 바다와 나의 변화 (Sea and Myself) [KMA]
Kim Sawol – 로맨스 (Romance) [KMA]
Kimsora – 비가 올 징조 (A Sign of Rain) [KMA]
Kim Ximya & D. Sanders – Moonshine***** [IZM]
Kirara – Sarah [MusicY, Bugs, Weiv, KMA, Tonplein]
Ko Heean Trio – Dancing Without Moving [KMA]
Lee Gwon-hyeong – 교회가 있는 풍경 (The Local Church) [MusicY]
Lee Jin-ah – Jinah Restaurant Full Course [KMA, Tonplein]
Lee Moon-sae – Between Us [KMA]
Life and Time – Age [KMA]
Lofibaby – N [KMA]
Memnoch – Command Hallucination [KMA]
Mid-Air Thief – 무너지기 (Crumbling) [Weiv, KMA, Tonplein]
Nam Yoosun – Strange, But Beautiful You [KMA]
Naul – Sound Doctrine [IZM, KMA, Tonplein]
Near East Quartet – Near East Quartet [MusicY, KMA]
Noeazy – Triangle [KMA]
Park Jiha – Philos [KMA]
Park Ju-won – The Last Rumba [KMA]
Plugged Classic – Sabai [KMA]
Saay – Claassic [Weiv]
Say Sue Me – Where We Were Together [IZM, MusicY, KMA]
Soojin Suh – Strange Liberation [KMA]
Sumin – Your Home [IZM, Bugs, Weiv, KMA]
Sumin Jung – Neo-liberalism [KMA]
Sunji Lee – Song of April [Bugs, KMA]

Superstring – Architecture [MusicY, KMA]
Two Tone Shape – Shapes [KMA]
Uhm Jung-hwa – The Cloud Dream of the Nine [KMA]
XXX – Language [MusicY, Weiv, KMA, Tonplein]
Yeseo – Damn Rules [MusicY, KMA]
Youngju Song – Late Fall [KMA]
Yuha – 젊은이 (Youth) [KMA]


Adoy – Wonder [KMA]
Aseul – Seoul Girl [KMA]
Asian Chairshot – 빙글뱅글 (Round and Round) [KMA]
Blackpink – 뚜두뚜두 (Ddu-du Ddu-du) [Tonplein]
BTS – Fake Love [KMA]
BTS – Idol
[Weiv, KMA]

Dark Mirror Ov Tragedy – I Am the Lord Ov Shadows
Day of Mourning – Wretched Flesh
Decadent – 토마토 살인사건 (Tomato Homicide)
Demicat – Levitation
George – 하려고해고백 (Gohaegoback) [KMA]
(G)I-DLE, Madison Beer, Jaira Burns – Pop/Stars [Weiv]
H a lot – If You Ask Me
H a lot – Prom [KMA]
Hangsuk & Boogiemonster – 난 뚱뚱해 (I’m Fat)
Haon – 붕붕 (Bang Bang) (Feat. Sik-K)
Heize – Jenga (Feat. Gaeko) [KMA]
Hippy was Gypsy – 침대 (Bed) [KMA]
Hoody – Sunshine (Feat. Crush) [KMA]
Huckleberry Finn – 누구인가 (Who Is It) [KMA]
Hwaji – 나 빼 (Take Me Out) [Bugs, KMA]
Hyangni – 불안지옥 (Anxiety Hell) [MusicY]
Hyukoh – Love Ya! [KMA]
Jang Pil-soon – 저녁 바다 (Evening Sea)****** [KMA]
Jannabi – Good Boy Twist [IZM]
Jclef – 지구 멸망 한 시간 전 (The Last 1 Hour Before We Fade)
[KMA, Tonplein]
Jellvako – Vision
Jeon Yonghyeon – 가까이 하고 싶은 그대 (You Who Want To Be Close) (Jeon Yonghyeon Remix)
Jimin Park – April Fools (0401)
Jisun Trio – Mr. Bittersweet [Bugs]
Johann Electric Bach – Fitz And The Tantrums vs Song Hae – 전국 Handclap 자랑 [feat. Casino] [J.E.B Edit] [Weiv]
Justhis & Paloalto – Switch [KMA]
Kang Asol – 그래도 우리 (Still We Are) [MusicY]
Kang Asol – 섬 (Island) [KMA]
Key – Good Good [Weiv]
Kiha & the Faces – 그건 니 생각이고 (That’s Just What You Think) [KMA]
Kim Sawol – 누군가에게 (Someone) [KMA]
Kim Sawol – 로맨스 (Romance) [IZM]
Kirara – Wish [Weiv, Tonplein]
Kirara – 걱정 (Worries) [KMA]
Kisnue – Cool Kids [Bugs]
Life and Time – 잠수교 (Jamsugyo) [KMA]
Mid-Air Thief – 곡선과 투과광 (Curve and Light) [Tonplein]
Mid-Air Thief – 쇠사슬 (Ahhhh, These Chains!) [Tonplein]
Mommy Son – 소년점프 (Shonen Jump) (Feat. Bae Gi-sung) [IZM, MusicY, KMA]
Moon Jung-hoo – 이방인 (Stranger) [IZM]
Muzie – New Wave City [MusicY]
Night Off – 리뷰 (Review) [MusicY, KMA]
Oh My Girl – 비밀정원 (Secret Garden) [MusicY]
Park Won – 나 (Rudderless) [IZM]
Plugged Classic – Heavy Mind [Bugs]
Pure 100% – Apollo [KMA]
Red Velvet – Bad Boy [Weiv, KMA]
Say Sue Me – Old Town [KMA]
Seulgi, SinB, Chungha, Soyeon – Wow Thing [MusicY, Weiv]
SHINee – 데리러 가 (Good Evening) [Weiv]
Simon Dominic – Demolition Man (Feat. Kim Jong-seo) [IZM]
Sumin – 너네 집 (Your Home) (Feat. Xin Seha) [KMA]
Sunmi – Siren [IZM]
Two Tone Shape – Color Penetration [KMA]
Uhm Jung-hwa – Ending Credit [IZM]
XXX – 간주곡 (Ganju Gok) [Weiv, KMA, Tonplein]
Yeseo – Bitches Rule [MusicY]
Yeseo – Honey, Don’t Kill My Vibe [KMA]
Yuha – 안부1 (Greetings) [KMA]

**** A Premature and Meaningless Confession was released on December 7, 2018, so it was skipped by most publications (including us) this year – look for this album in 2019 review posts.
***** Moonshine
was released on November 28, 2017, and was included in our 2017 In Review last year.
****** “Evening Sea” was originally cut as a single in August 2017, and was included in our 2017 In Review last year.

Night Off – Last Night album cover from Bugs Music.

Read our past series:

2017 In Review

2016 In Review

2015 In Review

2014 In Review

2013 In Review

2012 In Review