2019 In Review: Day 16 – Concluding Remarks and the Roundup

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2019 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

Over these two weeks we’ve recapped some of the best and most significant music of 2019. We are already well into charting 2020’s releases, and in December alone artists like Yerin Baek, Somdef, Red Velvet, and Sunwoojunga brought us excellent work that will almost surely show up in next year’s edition of this series.

The 2019 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, and some works are always going to fall through the cracks. A review of other publications’ selections can help fill in those gaps, 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, Bugs Music, MusicY, Tonplein, and the Korean Music Awards. At time of writing Weiv has not released their list, but this post will be updated if and when they do. Meanwhile, a few prominent outlets like Idology, Rhythmer, and the Korean Hip-hop Awards are not included as they focus on specific genres – though this policy is always being re-evaluated.

The selectors each have different systems. IZM picks the top 10 albums and singles, no order; Bugs picks just one album and song for each genre category; MusicY does an ordered top 10 for albums, singles and rookie albums, as well as nominees; Tonplein and KMA each do a full nominee list, with around five songs and albums for each category.

  • Works that did not appear anywhere in our 2019 In Review are listed in italics. (Not counting Album Art or Other Recognition.) 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 is bold and italicized, you could say that we “whiffed” or deviated that much harder.
  • MusicY, Tonplein, and the KMAs publish nominees in addition to winners. I include all of these except for MusicY nominees that are designated for the rookie awards (and do not win). Also, because of the way MusicY codes their articles, works that are nominated but don’t win get loaded into the Albums list and not Songs.

Most of the italicized works below were also considered for our list before ultimately being cut, but others were legitimately missed. We hope that you will check them out as well!


  • 0muhi – 송곳 (Awl) [MusicY]
  • 9 and the Numbers – 서울시 여러분 (Many Minutes in Seoul) [MusicY, KMA]
  • Adoy – Vivid [MusicY]
  • AkMu – 항해 (Sailing) [IZM, KMA]
  • Animal Divers – Monsoon [MusicY]
  • Atom Music Heart – Bravo Victor [MusicY]
  • Bek Hyunjin – 가볍고 수많은 (Light, Many) [Tonplein]
  • Black Hole – Evolution [IZM, MusicY, KMA]
  • The Black Skirts – Thirsty [MusicY, KMA]
  • Black String – Karma [MusicY, KMA]
  • Bosudongcooler – Yeah, I Don’t Want It [MusicY]
  • The Bowls – If We Live Without Romance [Tonplein]
  • Broccoli You Too – 속물들 (Snobs) [MusicY]
  • BTS – Map of the Soul: Persona [Tonplein]
  • Cacophony – 夢 (Dream) [Tonplein, KMA]
  • Cadejo – Freesummer [MusicY]
  • Chain Reaction – Features / Creatures [KMA]
  • Cheon Miji – Mother and Lover [MusicY]
  • Chiyoonhae – 개의 입장 (The Dog’s Point of View) [MusicY]
  • ChoiLB – 오리엔테이션 (Orientation) [KMA]
  • Choi Sung Ho Singularity – 주기율표 (The Periodic Table) [MusicY]
  • Chun Yong-sung – 김일성이 죽던 해 (Year of Kim Il-sung’s Death) [MusicY, Tonplein, KMA]
  • CHS – Jungle Sauna [MusicY]
  • C Jamm – 킁 (Keung) [MusicY, Tonplein, KMA]
  • Colde – Love Part 1 [KMA]
  • Cotoba – 언어의 형태 (Form of Tongue) [MusicY]
  • Damye – Life’s a Loop [MusicY, Tonplein]
  • Dongyang Gozupa – 곡면 (Surface) [MusicY, Tonplein]
  • Dress & Sogumm – Not My Fault [KMA]
  • Eighteen April – Voices [MusicY, KMA]
  • Emon – 네가 없어질 세계 (The World Without You) [KMA]
  • E Sens – 이방인 (The Stranger) [MusicY, Tonplein, KMA]
  • Fishingirls – Fishing Queen [MusicY]
  • Futuristic Swaver – BFOTY [KMA]
  • Gerda – The Uprooted [MusicY]
  • Golden Child – Re-boot [MusicY]
  • Goonam – 모래내판타지 (Moraenae Fantasy) [Tonplein, KMA]
  • Hippy was Gipsy – 불 (Fire) [Tonplein]
  • Hwang Gina – The Middle [MusicY]
  • Hwi – Extraplex [Tonplein]
  • IU – Love Poem [IZM]
  • Jambinai – Onda [IZM, MusicY, Tonplein, KMA]
  • Jang Myung-sun – 이르고 무의미한 고백 (A Premature and Meaningless Confession) [Tonplein, KMA]
  • Jannabi – 전설 (Legend) [Tonplein, KMA]
  • JB Liberation Amalgamation – JB Liberation Amalgamation [MusicY, KMA]
  • Jeon Jin-hee – 우리의 사랑은 여름이었지 (Our Love Was Summer) [IZM]
  • Jerastar – 시공초월 (Time and Space Transcendence) [MusicY]
  • Ji Park – DMZ [KMA]
  • Ji Park X Cor3a – L’Inferno: Adapted Soundtrack Vol. 1 [MusicY]
  • Jung Joonil – Love You I Do [MusicY]
  • Jungmin Seo – Home [MusicY, KMA]
  • Kang Kwon-soon – 지뢰 – 땅의 소리 (Sounds of the Earth) [MusicY]
  • Kim Hyun-chul – 돛 (Sail) [IZM, KMA]
  • Kim Oki – 스피릿선발대 (Spirit Advance Unit) [KMA]
  • Kirin X Sumin – Club 33 [Tonplein]
  • Legit Goons – Rockstar Games [MusicY]
  • Lee Joo-young – Lee Joo Young [KMA]
  • Lee Myoung Gun Trio – 좋은게 좋은거지 (Something Good Is Good) [KMA]
  • Lim Kim – Generasian [MusicY, KMA]
  • Loona – [X X] [Tonplein]
  • Madmans Esprit – Glorifying Suicide [KMA]
  • Method – Definition of Method [MusicY, KMA]
  • Minki – Invisible [KMA]
  • Mommy Son – 나의 슬픔 (My Sadness) [MusicY]
  • Moon & Bouncers – The Album [MusicY]
  • National Pigeon Unity – 999 [MusicY, KMA]
  • Net Gala – re:FLEX*ion [KMA]
  • NST & the Soul Sauce meets Kim Yulhee – Version [MusicY, KMA]
  • O’Domar – 밭 (Field) [IZM]
  • Oh Chill – Oh, Two Animals [KMA]
  • Oh My Girl – The Fifth Season [Tonplein]
  • Oohyo – 성난 도시로부터 멀리 (Far from the Madding City) [MusicY, KMA]
  • O.O.O – Playground [MusicY]
  • Owen – Smile [MusicY]
  • Park Sae-byul – Ballades Op.3 [MusicY]
  • Pureum Jin – The Real Blue [KMA]
  • Rainbow99 – 동두천 (Dongducheon) [IZM, Tonplein]
  • Ravie Nuage – 새벽녘 (Dawn) [Bugs]
  • Red Velvet – The ReVe Festival Day 1 [Tonplein]
  • Rock N Roll Radio – You’ve Never Had It So Good [MusicY, Tonplein, KMA]
  • Room306 – 겹 (Layer) [MusicY, Tonplein]
  • Salamanda – Our Lair [Tonplein]
  • Samuel Seo – The Misfit [MusicY, Tonplein, KMA]
  • Saza Choi – Saza [MusicY]
  • SB Circle – Topology [MusicY, KMA]
  • Seoul Sanggyeong Band – Bluesy Color [MusicY]
  • Sogumm – Sobrightttttttt [Bugs, MusicY, Tonplein, KMA]
  • Soma – Seiren [IZM, Tonplein]
  • So!YoON! – So!YoON! [MusicY]
  • Stella Jang – 유해물질 (Hazardous Materials) [MusicY]
  • Sumin – Oo Da Da [Tonplein, KMA]
  • Summer of Thoughts – The Republic of Trees [MusicY, Tonplein]
  • Sunwoojunga – Stand [Tonplein]
  • Surl – Aren’t You? [MusicY]
  • Taeseok Yang – Re:Drums Vol.1 – 현의 몸짓 (The Gesture of the String) [MusicY]
  • Taeyeon – Purpose [MusicY, KMA]
  • Thornapple – 계몽 (Enlightenment) [Bugs, KMA]
  • Trio Works – Gunsan Gaka [Bugs, KMA]
  • Twice – Feel Special [Tonplein]
  • Various Artists – A Tribute to Black Hole: Re-encounter the Miracle [KMA]
  • Various Artists – Calciuming [Tonplein]
  • Various Artists – Gookbo 3ho [KMA]
  • Viann – The Baker [Tonplein]
  • We Are the Night – 아, 이 어지러움 (Vertigo) [Bugs, Tonplein]
  • XXX – Language* [IZM]
  • XXX – Second Language [Tonplein, KMA]
  • Yeon Young-seok / Lazyblood – 서럽다 꿈같다 우습다 (Sad Dreamy Funny) [KMA]
  • Yeoyu and Seolbin – 노래는 저 멀리 (Song from Far Away) [Tonplein, KMA]
  • Yerin Baek – Our Love Is Great [KMA]
  • Youngjoo Song X Sunny Kim – Tribute [MusicY, KMA]
  • Youn Sun Nah – Immersion [MusicY, KMA]
  • Yuha – Eternity [Tonplein]


  • 9 and the Numbers – 주부가요 (Mom’s Frontline) [MusicY]
  • AkMu – 뱃노래 (Chantey) [Tonplein]
  • AkMu – 어떻게 이별까지 사랑하겠어, 널 사랑하는 거지 (How Can I Love the Heartbreak, You’re the One I Love) [Bugs, KMA]
  • Atom Music Heart – Lilac (Feat. Kim Do-yeon) [MusicY]
  • BewhY – 가라사대 (Gottasadae) [IZM, KMA]
  • Bill Stax – Idungivaㅗ [KMA]
  • The Black Skirts – 섬 (Island – Queen of Diamonds) [KMA]
  • Bosudongcooler – 목화 (Cotton) [Tonplein]
  • Brown Eyed Soul – 그대의 밤, 나의 아침 (Night and Day) [KMA]
  • BTS – 작은 것들을 위한 시 (Boy with Luv) (Feat. Halsey) [IZM, KMA]
  • Cacophony – 귀환 (Return) [Tonplein]
  • Chain Reaction – Noir Society [Tonplein]
  • Chong Tae-chun – 사람들 2019 (The Folks 2019) [Tonplein]
  • Chun Yong-sung – 김일성이 죽던 해 (Year of Kim Il-sung’s Death) [Tonplein]
  • Chun Yong-sung – 대설주의보 (Heavy Snow Watch) [KMA]
  • Colde – 와르르 (Wa-r-r) [KMA]
  • Decadent – 링구 (Lingu) [KMA]
  • Dongyang Gozupa – 그때와 지금 (Now and Then) [Tonplein]
  • Dress & Sogumm – Dreamer, Doer [Tonplein]
  • Dubinvain – Dubinvain [Tonplein]
  • E Sens – 그XX아들같이 (Son of A) [MusicY, KMA]
  • E Sens – Clock (Feat. Kim Ximya) [Tonplein]
  • Eundohee – Stain [Tonplein]
  • (G)I-DLE – Lion [IZM, KMA]
  • Gonggonggoo009 – 정릉 (Jungneung) [Tonplein]
  • Hippy was Gipsy – 마저 (Even) [Tonplein]
  • Hwi – Déjà Vu: Where Is My Exit? [Tonplein]
  • Itzy – 달라달라 (Dalla Dalla) [KMA]
  • Jambinai – 온다 (Onda) [Tonplein, KMA]
  • Jang Myung-sun – 이다음에는 (And Then) [Tonplein]
  • Jannabi – 주저하는 연인들을 위해 (For Lovers Who Hesitate) [KMA]
  • Jay Park & Kirin – 오늘밤엔 (Tonight) (Feat. Ugly Duck) [IZM]
  • Jclef – Mama, See [IZM, MusicY, Tonplein, KMA]
  • Jeongmilla – 무명 (Nameless) [KMA]
  • Jiji – Paradise [Tonplein]
  • Jvcki Wai, Young B, Osshun Gum, Han Yo-han – 띵 (Dding) (Prod. Giriboy) [Tonplein]
  • Kim Oki – 코타르 증후군 (Cotard’s Syndrome) [MusicY]
  • Kwon Tree – 거짓말은 없어요 (No Lies) [Tonplein]
  • Kwon Tree – 새로운 날 (New Day) [KMA]
  • Lee Han-earl Trio – Mauritius [Bugs]
  • Lee Joo-young – 오후에 (Heart) [KMA]
  • Lee Sora – 신청곡 (Song Request) (Feat. Suga) [IZM]
  • Lil Cherry X Jitomo – Get a Whiff of Dis [Tonplein]
  • Lim Kim – Sal-ki [KMA]
  • Lim Kim – Yellow [MusicY]
  • Lim Kim – 민족요 (Minjokyo) (Entrance) [Tonplein]
  • Loona – Butterfly [IZM, Tonplein]
  • Mommy Son – 별의노래 (Star Song) (Feat. Eugene Park) [MusicY]
  • Mushvenom – 알려 좀 주쇼 (Let Me Know) [MusicY]
  • Mushvenom – 왜 이리 시끄러운 것이냐 (Why Is It So Noisy) (Prod. SLO) [KMA]
  • National Pigeon Unity – 끼리끼리 (Same Same) [KMA]
  • Net Gala – Quarrel [KMA]
  • Numnum – 째깍째깍 (Tiktaktoktak) [Tonplein]
  • Oh Chill – Oh, Two Animals [KMA]
  • Oh My Girl – 다섯 번째 계절 (SSFWL) [Tonplein]
  • Peggy Gou – 별이 빛나는 밤 (Starry Night) [IZM, KMA]
  • Pierre Blanche – Combat [KMA]
  • Rainbow99 – 두드림 (Do Dream) [Tonplein]
  • Rainbow99 – 상패동 (Sangpae-dong) [MusicY]
  • Red Velvet – 짐살라빔 (Zimzalabim) [Tonplein]
  • Rock N Roll Radio – Take Me Home [KMA]
  • Se So Neon – 집에 (Go Back) [KMA]
  • Smalltown – 클로버 (Clover) [Bugs]
  • Soma – Fish Talk [Tonplein]
  • Somi – Birthday [Bugs]
  • Sonic Stones – Chocolate Milk [KMA]
  • Sulli – 고블린 (Goblin) [Tonplein]
  • Sumin – Shaker [Tonplein]
  • Sumin – Stardust [KMA]
  • Sunwoojunga – Classic [Bugs, KMA]
  • Sunwoojunga – 배신이 기다리고 있다 (Betrayal Awaits) [Tonplein]
  • Taemin – Want [Tonplein]
  • Taeyeon – 불티 (Spark) [MusicY]
  • Thornapple – 2월 (February) [KMA]
  • Twice – Fancy [Tonplein]
  • Two Tone Shape – Constant [KMA]
  • XXX – Bougie [Tonplein]
  • Yeon Young-seok / Lazyblood – 윤식이 나간다 (Go Yoonsik Go) [KMA]
  • Yeoyu and Seolbin – 그곳에 노래를 (The Song We Were Singing) [Tonplein]
  • Yerin Baek – 그건 아마 우리의 잘못은 아닐거야 (Maybe It’s Not Our Fault) [IZM, Tonplein, KMA]
  • Yumdda – 돈 Call Me (Don’t Call Me) (Prod. Brllnt) [IZM, KMA]

*Language was released November 28, 2018, and was therefore included in 2018 recaps for most publications including Hellokpop.

Lyric translations by author. Artist profile and album cover images from Bugs Music.

Read our past series:

2018 In Review

2017 In Review

2016 In Review

2015 In Review

2014 In Review

2013 In Review

2012 In Review

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