Wow! I can’t believe we are FINALLY here! My TOP 10 ASIAN POP SONGS!!! These are the ultimate in my books! I love Asian pop music so get ready to listen to my stand out tracks! I am so glad to have found a passion with music from another market, it opens your mind and introduces you to a whole other musical world. My hope for those who haven’t entered the realm of Asian music (not just pop) have found it easier to check out new artists and genres. Maybe NONE of the artists and songs I have shown were your thing, but I hope that you discover artists from other countries. We live in a time where listening to music only in your native language is so yesterday. Music is its own language in itself. Let’s begin!
10. Holler – Girls’ Generation TTS (2014)
‘Holler’ has amazing vocals, but an amazing melody with incredibly soulful and funky chord changes. These girls never disappoint me, and ‘Holler’ is absolutely incredible. So many great moments in this song. It’s such a throwback but oh so modern. The funk and R&B aspects of this song are why I love it so much because the melody progresses into perfection. It’s no question that this is my favourite song from the Girls’ Generation sub-unit, TTS.
9. I Am The Best – 2NE1 (2011)
Easily their most recognizable track, ‘I Am The Best’ is what made me fall in love with 2NE1. They are fierce, sassy, strong, and sexy. It’s poppy, electric, and a little bit hip-hop, and these girls know exactly how to bring those genres together. CL definitely carries the group, but the three other girls shine equally in this song. I try my best to sing along with this song (ultimately failing miserably), but I give it my all and sometimes I can actually sing certain parts!!! Wanna get pumped? Crank this and you will be ready to do anything!
8. The Boys – Girls Generation (2011)
I have always been into Japanese pop music with artists like Ayumi Hamasaki and Koda Kumi, but I was never into K-Pop. It’s not that I didn’t want to be, I guess I never just thought to look into it. I first saw this song performed live on The Late Show with David Letterman in English (they recorded it in three languages – and all three are amazing) shortly after I got back from my first time in Japan (so the Asian hype was REAL) and I was BLOWN AWAY. I had heard of them, but I didn’t know a lot about them. The only girl groups I had ever really seen or looked at were the massive super groups in Japan like AKB48…not a group of then nine girls all with incredible vocals and dancing abilities. They came on The Late Show and sang their latest single ‘The Boys’ in English and I remember watching it with my Mom being in absolute awe. I had to look them up and learn more about this amazing group! Besides my history with the song, the song itself is fantastic. Again, I love the mystery and the creepy chords used – it’s the melody that really grabbed me. Taeyeon is given the spotlight to belt it all out at one point and it’s one of the highlight moments of the track. This song is incredible.
7. Microphone – Ayumi Hamasaki (2010)
A stand out Ayu track for me – her signature rock/orchestral sound. What more can I say? I absolutely LOVE this song! I don’t need to tell you why, tell you why!
6. Midnight Circus – SunnyHill (2011)
When I first heard this song, I couldn’t believe how amazing it was. More creepy pop! The diminished and minor chords! OH MY! It was heaven. Yes, I love creepy pop like this, and this is an amazing example. This track NAILS the perfect amount of pop, creepy, and overall win.
5. Paparazzi – Girls’ Generation (2012)
Seeing a trend? More creepy pop from Girls’ Generation!!! My favourite song of theirs! The first time I heard this and I heard Jessica sing the opening ‘Oo la la la’, I fell in love. It’s powerful, edgy, and a little devious. This is the Girls’ Generation I love so much.
4. Love Song – Ayumi Hamasaki (2010)
While this song might appear to be different for Ayumi Hamasaki at first, it’s definitely not. It has acoustic guitar and has some folky undertones, but at its core, this is Ayu. The extremely emotional orchestral parts of the song are HER. This is Ayu. The songs where Ayu will actually cry while singing them live are sometimes the best. This is also one of the first songs my boyfriend got into when he became an Ayu fan, so we like listening to this song together. Definitely a really unique song.
3. talkin’ 2 myself – Ayumi Hamasaki (2008)
One of Ayu’s heavier songs, I feel as though I can actually sing parts of this…at least I try! The instrumental part of this song with full orchestra and guitar is by far one of the most epic moments in a ‘pop’ song! This song is nothing less than epic. And just because, I will throw this live performance here because why not? Ayu is SAVAGE AF.
(updated – old video was removed)
2. Rule – Ayumi Hamasaki (2009)
More rock Ayu…not surprising at this point I suppose. One aspect I like about this song (and many of her songs) is they seem to build and build and build in a way that is motivating. You feel as if you are the King or Queen of the world and that you can do anything! Definitely a motivational song for me and she is way too awesome! At this point in my list, I am seriously fangirling over Ayu… 🙂
Well, we are THERE. We have made it. The song that trumps them all. The song that I LOVE way too much, and my dream came true when I saw her perform it live.
1. Evolution – Ayumi Hamasaki (2001)
This song has ALL elements of Ayu. Heavy guitar, 90s techno, a slow build up to something loud and fast-paced, a fun bridge with drums, a solo by Yo-chan at the live shows, the list goes on. This is just pure Ayu. It’s mostly the fun build up though, which is consistent throughout the song. It’s one of the first songs I ever heard of hers and it has become a fan favourite. She plays it EVERY show she does because the fans just expect it now. The audience gets REALLY into it, including myself when I was at one of her CDL shows back in 2011. People do hand movements with their glowsticks to the beat of the music and it’s one of the most incredible spectacles I have ever seen.
This is a live version from her Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus tour (updated as old video was removed). It’s always fun and a great time. When I first saw it, I remember freaking out because it’s truly my favourite song of hers. It gives me such a great feeling and gets me truly pumped. She is an incredible performer and the ultimate. She is the reason I got into Asian music in the first place.
Wow, I can’t believe that the list is done! I’m sure it will change over the years, but as of right now. That is my Top 100 Asian Pop Songs! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you haven’t seen the rest of the list, here it is:
Definitely check out more of the Asian music scene! There is something for everyone. If you feel like you’ve heard it all in the west, then there’s probably something you’ve never heard coming out of Asia, or even other countries. I may have to do a list of my favourite world music excluding Asia! 🙂
Image Credit: http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/ayumiv/21978548/134684/134684_original.jpg