Compared to the previous singles roundups, we’re seeing a whole lot of various flavors of mainstream pop in March, from trap, EDM, jazz, to even bubblegum. With a number of experienced groups making comebacks, and a slew of newbies debuting, it’s a month of bloodshed group battles. Though the senior idols came on top for the most part, a few rookies also managed to grab our attention as well. Our list is then rounded off with a few smart collaborations and superb OSTs. Let’s hear it for March’s top singles, in the order of their time of release.
Changmo – 내 귀는 열려 (I’m All Ears)
Gripping electric guitar strings give I’m All Ears a haunting opening that’s soon followed by Changmo’s dominant rap and thumping hip hop beats. The song then transitions to an airy, echo-filled singing part that furthers its overall eeriness. I’m All Ears has both angst and mystic – a perfect OST match to the chilling thriller drama Voice.
Intense drum sequence gives How Can I Say a strong rock base, but then layers on a bending R&B melody to create an entirely original sound. While the boys’ belting vocals during the chorus are as powerful as usual, the unexpected genre mix during the verse is easily the highlight of this vociferous number.
Movie is a jazz influenced track that turns things groovy. It’s an upbeat dance tune with dynamic and prominent instrumentals such as synthesizer and piano sounds in the backtrack. Movie offers equal part jazz lounge nostalgia, and contemporary vibes through its autotune and edgy raps. Its lively composition, playful execution, and energetic vocals will definitely put a smile on your face as you jam along with it.
Fingertip uses samples from many detective TV show soundtracks to create the atmosphere of an undercover spy mission. This direction makes sense, as the lyrics revolve around the girls’ heroic attempts to capture the heart of the man they love. Fingertip is a great example of GFriend’s signature genre-crossing pop songs — feminine yet strong, innocent yet cosmopolitan.
B.A.P – Wake Me Up
The muffled vocals that gradually becomes clear against a fast electric guitar jam gives Wake Me Up a sense of urgency that builds towards the boys bluesy pleading: “wake me up”. The R&B melody, growling rap, and clamorous EDM backtrack mix all work together to create an addictive ditty with a hint of impending danger.
Brave Girls – 롤린 (Rollin’)
Rollin’ is a surreal and ethereal house track that feels like you’re being transported to a whole new world. The emotional highs in the chorus can be felt deeply, and the chorus is simply a wow-worthy moment. Be warned, this unique and statement-making song will easily put you in a deep trance.
Without U kicks off brightly with spunky disc scratching and playful whistles. The immediately sticky chorus is brought to life by funky guitar riffs and the boys’ youthful vocals. Without U sounds very refreshing and shows off the boyish charms that suit Romeo rather well.
Eric Nam + Somi – 유후 (You, Who)
In this incredibly adorable acoustic R&B ballad duet, Somi and Eric give us an overdose of sweetness and innocence. Their angelic voices coupled with the honey-smooth melody and the peppy guitar sounds paint a picture-perfect adolescent love story in You, Who.
Produce 101 – 나야나 (Pick Me)
Produce 101 Season 2’s theme song, also titled Pick Me, is a traditional EDM gem. The equally clamorous drum beats, synthesizer piano notes, dreamy digital sounds, and turntable spins all mix exceedingly well to ensure you can instantly recall this club banger in your mind.
Justin Oh + Hyolyn – Jekyll & Hyde
Sistar’s diva vocalist Hyorin teams up with reputable EDM DJ Justin Oh to create a super stylistic electro dance and R&B-inspired ditty that you just can’t enough of. The beat drops are clever, modern, and fancy all at the same time, giving you a total eargasm in Jekyll & Hyde.
GOT7 – Never Ever
Never Ever is an upbeat, futuristic hip hop song with a flavorful rhythm and distinctive beat mixing. GOT7’s vocal line really shines here as they showcase their full range and killer ad libs. Although the backtrack is intense, this is actually a sincere love song.
MVP – 선택해 (Take It)
Take It is an uptempo dance pop and hip hop cross-over track that combines old with new. It’s a high-energy and booming number with synthesized turntable scratching sounds and a retro 80s backbeat that brings back nostalgia. For newbies, MVP pleasantly surprises us with their stable vocals and edgy raps.
Cao Lu + Yerin + Kisum – 왜 또 봄이야 (Spring Again)
Spring Again is an acoustic pop number that shows off cutesy feminine charms at its best. With candy vocals from Fiestar’s Cao Lu, GFriend’s Yerin, and rapper Kisum atop a marshmallow-like soft and fluffy tune, you can’t help but feel a rush of sugar high from this sweet and lovable song.
Highlight – 얼굴 찌푸리지 말아요 (Plz Don’t Be Sad)
Former Beast members are back as Highlight and brings an all-new perspective on music. Plz Don’t Be Sad is a fun and infectious track taking inspiration from the rhythm of upbeat disco music. Dancing to this ditty seems irresistible as the boys’ carefree and sanguine chants really get to you and leave lasting impressions.
CNBLUE – 헷갈리게 (Between Us)
Between Us is a refreshing combination of EDM and CNBlue’s roots in rock. It effortlessly balances powerful belting vocals with straightforward chord progressions that somehow manage to make it sound relaxing at the same time. Between Us is an experimental and catchy number that deserves to be on everyone’s playlist.
J-Min – Alive
As the only sentimental ballad on the list, you can imagine how much auditory impact and heartfelt emotions Alive needed to convey to compete with the rest of the list. Both the piano instrumentals and J-Min’s vocals can only be described as pure and ethereal, piercing straight into your heart as you hold your breathe to listen to this peaceful yet sonorous song.
Pristin – Wee Woo
Funky base guitar kicks off this playful dance pop track that is quickly joined by Pristin’s girly and energetic vocals. At first Wee Woo makes you think it’s just another typical girl group debut song, but its brilliance soon shines in the form of amusing elements like quirky chants, sassy rap, and hooky catch phrases that help break up the flow and keep things interesting.
Monsta X – 아름다워 (Beautiful)
Monsta X once again delivers on their tough boy concept through this trendy hip hop dance track that shows off their usual snazzy rap. However, the boys also unexpectedly show a softer side and smooth vocals during the groovy chorus. The hard-hitting verses and the suave chorus create contrasting dynamics that make Beautiful sound fresh.
Mamamoo – Double Trouble Couple
This bluesy jazz number is a signature Mamamoo-styled song. Double Trouble Couple features an alluring and calming melody that puts you at ease while the girls’ smoldering and sophisticated vocals fully express the smitten and elated feeling of falling in love. You’ll certainly be grinning ear to ear as you listen to this rom-com OST from Strong Woman Do Bong Soon.
Girl’s Day – I’ll Be Yours
I’ll Be Yours is a track that blends soulful R&B and frisky swing to manufacture a posh, upscale kind of sexy vibe that suits Girl’s Day quite well. The flirtatious and jazzy piano chords in the backtrack and Minah’s sliding scale vocals are easily the highlight of the song.