Wrapping up 2018, Billboard released two lists, one ranking the 20 best K-pop albums and the other for songs. BTS, Red Velvet and Shinee’s Jonghyun were especially recognised atop the lists.
Billboard picked BTS' Love Yourself: Answer as the best K-pop album of the year.
"BTS has risen to the top of the global music industry,” commentary accompanying the list read. “They released their Love Yourself album series, through which the group weaved a thematic discovery of self-love.”
Following a thorough analysis of the album, Billboard praised it, saying “Though some may feel it’s a lot to ask of pop music to have substance as well as style, BTS' Love Yourself: Answer lacks in neither regard.”
Jonghyun’s posthumous Poet/Artist album followed on the best albums list in the No. 2 spot.
The lead vocalist of SHINee died in December last year. Billboard described Jonghyun as a “beloved singer, songwriter and producer” with incredible talents.
“While it may be a tough listen for fans, the album is a beautiful, telling snapshot of the artist and poet Jonghyun was, and will continue to be for so many around the world,” it said.
Sunmi’s Warning, Heize’s Wish & Wind and EXO’s Don’t Mess Up My Tempo rounded out the top five albums.
Red Velvet’s Bad Boy topped the list as best K-pop song.
“This standout track fleshed out the second half of the act’s identity through its lush soundscape and vivid accompanying music video, which positioned the quintet as confident femme fatales,” Billboard said.
It described the song as one of the year’s “most pristine production to date.” Pentagon’s Shine, BTS' Fake Love and IU’s BBI BBI followed on the list. – The Korea Herald/Asia News Network