The American pop culture magazine Rolling Stone released its 50 Best Songs of 2021 recently. Three K-pop songs, which are unforgettable anthems pushing the boundaries of K-pop, have made it to the coveted list.
The list includes songs by TWICE, Epik High, and unsurprisingly BTS. TWICE featured at the No. 50 position with the song "The Feels". It is the K-pop girls' group's first single in English.
Rolling Stone praised the track by stating that it deservedly caught the Western market's attention with its disco energy radiant burst, ingenious vocal arrangement, masterful slick bass line, as well as one of the year's most effervescent choruses.
As per Rolling Stone, the nine-member group specializes in fun choreography, bright colors, and energy, even compared to the high standards of K-pop.
On the No. 40 spot was "Rosario", a song by Epik High that features rapper Zico and singer CL. The track is from the band's landmark 10th studio album. Rolling Stone referred to the band as K-pop vets and added that the track is different from the usual K-pop production, and will set the standard for other K-pop acts to follow. The article also asked new artists to take notice.
The magazine also described the song as shunning the boisterous refrains and heavy-handed production of most k-pop tracks and favors something, which has a bit more depth musically. The three artists set a standard over a flamenco-style guitar and light trap beat.
Rolling Stone's ranked the mega-hit BTS track "Butter" at No. 16. It is the second consecutive year that the Bangtan Boys have appeared on the list.
The magazine also commented on another BTS chartbuster "Dynamite" saying that it marked the South-Korean superstars' triumph as a group but "Butter", with its chic loving disco groove, gives all the members a chance to shine.
The article also praised "Butter"'s remix version with American rapper Meghan Thee Stallion.
Last year, the Rolling Stone annual list featured BTS and BLACKPINK as the only artists from Korea. In addition, BTS had also made it to the list of the 50 Best Albums of 2020 with the album "Map of the Soul: 7".
Meanwhile, the success of K-pop continues to grow globally. The New York Times Music Critic's Best Albums Of 2021 list included rookies aespa's first mini-album "Savage" and NCT 127's latest album "Sticker" in an otherwise English-dominated list.