Best K-Pop Songs Of 2021 - Boy Group/Solo Edition | #KHIGHRewind

2021 gave us a lot of iconic releases, debuts and reunions from the likes of 2AM and SHINee returning after several years to Seventeen, EXO and GOT7 members going solo. We had some well-deserved but underrated acts finally getting the recognition they deserve like SF9 and ONEUS to our current favourites dropping experimental tracks like Ateez and Stray Kids. Take a look at the best songs of the 2021 boy group/solo edition of #KHIGHRewind. Here are 10 of our favourite K-Pop songs by male acts released this year listed in no particular rank. 

[The list is unranked. This is a compilation based on the critiques of the Team KHIGH.]


Ateez – Deja Vu

Known for their fierce title tracks and equally powerful choreography, fans were pleasantly surprised with ‘Deja Vu’. Well, having established their own colour, it looks like Ateez is experimenting with new styles as seen with the trap R&B track that still sticks to their signature trap-filled chorus as they continue their fight with the Masked Man. But no Ateez song is complete without their adrenaline-filled performance as we have tons of highlights from the rain dance to Yunho proving his title as the main dancer with his hip-swaying choreography that will have all the girls and boys swooning.

EXO’s D.O. – Rose

EXO’s vocal powerhouse D.O. finally debuted solo and participated in the making of his album and the title track ‘Rose’. And while we expected him to take the emotional ballad route, he graced us with the fun pop ballad ‘Rose’ with a cheery guitar arrangement and folk elements. With an animated music video, D.O. sings about confessing to his crush all the while closely escaping mishaps that have fans on the edge of their seats. 

GOT7’s Youngjae – Vibin’

We finally had our favorite main vocalist going solo this year as Youngjae debuted with his first self-produced album. And what way to establish his sound than to go with ‘Vibin’ that embodies his fun and relaxing persona as he joyously sings and dances to the light dance-pop song. And like Youngjae’s infectious laughter and smile, one can’t help but smile too as they bop their head to the catchy hook.

Monsta X – Rush Hour

Looks like Joohoney aka Jooheon is about to take the title of Monsta X’s producer as we are finally getting title tracks from the tender-hearted rapper. But this time we are taken back to their debut era as ‘Rush Hour’ is a wild energetic song full of band sounds, trap beats and a grunge concept as they remind everyone why they are known as the beasts of K-pop. And what better way to honour leader Shownu than to incorporate his viral skewer eating meme as the killing point of ‘Rush Hour’ choreography as Jooheon declares “Eat this.”

ONEUS – Shut Up and Crazy Hot!

Performance kings ONEUS proved their title with the ‘ONEUS Theater’ concept as they dropped performance videos intertwined with movie concepts. We got a fierce video of ‘Shut Up and Crazy Hot!’ as they went all out for the rock song. Ravn starts off the performance with a bang as he mimes playing the piano with such energy that it sets the mood for what’s to come next. From the electric guitar riffs and fiery props to the energetic choreography, the song will hype you up as ONEUS sing about celebrating life and partying the night away.

SF9 – Trauma

SF9 is here to fluster everyone as they keep upping the game with sexy and seductive music every time they make a comeback. For ‘Trauma’, they take soul music and add a groovy arrangement that elevates the sensual atmosphere that SF9 has been playing with since their last few comebacks. And while they sing about escaping their trauma, it is the performance that we cannot escape as we have intricate chair choreography perfected by the likes of our honey-voiced vocalist Jaeyoon.

Stray Kids – Thunderous

Looks like we have the haters who complained about Stray Kids’ noise music to thank for ‘NOEASY’ and its title track ‘Thunderous’. The boys go all out for the diss track with a larger-than-life arrangement of traditional instruments, trap beats and EDM sounds. And as Felix tells their haters that they “don’t play by the rules,” we have Stray Kids experimenting with everything from the melody to the choreography that will remind us Indian fans of our folk dances and ‘garba’. 

Ten (NCT, SuperM) – Paint Me Naked

Anyone who knows Ten knows his love for the glam rock aesthetic and his artistic tendency. So, it is not surprising that he would go for a punk concept for the upbeat pop solo song Paint Me Naked. With effortless moves that also show off his dancing skills, Ten seems to be enjoying himself in the music video. And as he continues to march to his own beat whether it is with genderless fashion or artsy doodles, the NCT star promotes the same message of self-love in ‘Paint Me Naked’.

Wonho – Lose

Wonho is the perfect description of an all-rounder as he shows off his falsettos and high notes, washboard abs and flawless visuals, composing and songwriting skills, dance moves and dancing in the rain all in this one track ‘Lose’. The romantic singer goes for a different route as he disguises the breakup song about a toxic relationship with an upbeat pop arrangement and EDM beats with an equally strong and graceful choreography that only he can pull off.

Woodz – Waiting

Woodz is back with another fun but moody lead single as he immerses the rock-tinged ‘Waiting’ with his signature sounds while kicking it up a notch with funky beats, a groovy rhythm and a hypnotic chorus. Singing about love turned into an obsession, his falsettos and high notes makes the listener feel Woodz’s emotions. And it looks like this is the year of prop choreography as the singer shows a mature side with a performance that involves chairs, grunge looks and leather outfits.

Which of these songs is your favourite? Is your choice on the list? Let us know your favorite male act songs of 2021 in the comments below.
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