Rolling Stone's 50 Best Songs 2021: K-pop acts BTS, Epik High, TWICE get listed
We now have more and more platforms releasing their year-end lists of what they consider is the best of 2021. And South Korea is dominating in a majority of the fields from ‘Squid Game’s star Lee Jungjae being nominated for the Critics’ Choice Awards to K-pop taking over the global music charts. We first had BTS being the only Asian act on Apple Music’s year-end chart followed by K-pop dominating several of Billboard’s year-end charts. We also saw the likes of BTS on Spotify’s top 3 streamed artists while they and Blackpink took over Google searches. And now, Rolling Stone has also acknowledged the impact of K-pop.
We first had TXT becoming the only K-pop act to be mentioned on Rolling Stone’s list of Top 50 Best Albums of 2021. Their first repackaged album ‘The Chaos Chapter: Fight or Escape’ ranked #46 as Rolling Stone described it as elevating and allowing the fourth-gen group to showcase their impressive vocal and emotional range. Well, we now have a list for the Top 50 Best Songs of 2021 by them that includes BTS, Epik High and TWICE.
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BTS, Epik High and TWICE on Rolling Stone
We first had BTS and TWICE becoming the only foreign acts to be mentioned in the top 10 of Japan’s Line Music year-end chart. In their most-streamed artists’ list, we had BTS at #1 while TWICE followed at #7. Along with the Japanese viral sensation Yoasobi, TWICE was also the only female act on the chart. And now the two K-pop acts are on Rolling Stone along with the indie hip hop group Epik High. With Rolling Stone establishing itself as the go-to music platform since the 60s, fans and non-fans are impressed that K-pop left a mark on the US magazine.
BTS’ popular English single ‘Butter’ was at #16. Critic Jon Dolan explained the song as celebrating “the power of silky beats, sunburst harmonies, party raps, and jump-up choruses with such unguarded joy it makes everyone else on the pop charts seem drab by comparison.” Epik High’s ‘Rosario’ ft CL and Zico ranked at #40. Featuring K-pop heavyweights, the song was favored for its musical depth and mentioned for “setting the standard for K-pop acts to follow...New artists, take notice.”
TWICE’s first original English single ‘The Feels’ made it at #50. While the K-pop girl group is known for their viral hits, ‘The Feels’ has led them to newfound fame as it has gone global with even TikTokers and Instagram influencers using the track to bling up their content. Kristine Kwak describes it as “a radiant burst of disco energy, with a masterfully slick bass line, an ingenious vocal arrangement” with one of the year’s most earworm choruses.
The New York Times Music Critic’s Best Albums Of 2021
We also have other K-pop acts taking over the West with SM artists being mentioned by The New York Times. Earlier, we had the popular boy group NCT 127 and monster rookies aespa being the only K-pop acts to be mentioned on The New York times’ Best Albums of 2021. NCT 127’s latest album ‘Sticker’ and aespa’s first mini-album ‘Savage’ are the only Korean-language album in the English-dominated list made by music critic Jon Caramanica.