Recently, three industry experts, Jo Yoon Kyung, Hwang Hyun, and Kim Young Dae, named ten songs of 2022 that are hidden masterpieces. Jo Yoon Kyung is a lyricist who frequently collaborates with SM Entertainment artists. Her earliest credits began with BoA‘s second album, No. 1. Hwang Hyun is a composer with the music production and publishing company MonoTree who worked with artists like LOONA, Red Velvet, Golden Child, ONF, Super Junior, and more. The final expert is Kim Young Dae, a music critic and a member of the Korean Music Awards.
Here are the ten songs they picked!
1. “Hope To Be Like You” by WOODZ
WOODZ, also known as Cho Seungyoun, refreshed his solo career under a new stage name after promoting in the now-disbanded group, X1, and the group UNIQ, which is currently on a hiatus. The talented idol has various composition, production, and writing credits and has participated in Mnet‘s Show Me The Money, Unpretty Rapstar 3, and Produce X 101, where he ranked in fifth place overall.
WOODZ released his fourth EP in May of this year, Colorful Trauma. His track, “Hope To Be Like You” was named a hidden masterpiece of the year.
2. “Beatbox” by NCT DREAM
Almost a year after they released their first album, Hot Sauce, NCT DREAM released their second full-length album Glitch Mode. The album was repackaged two months later, adding four additional new songs, including “Beatbox.”
“Beatbox” quickly caught fans’ attention with its catchy chorus and fun dance.
3. “Lucky Like That” by Girls’ Generation
Girls’ Generation reunited this year for their fifteen anniversary, releasing not just a new song, but an entire album. The group promoted their title track, “FOREVER 1” on music programs, held a concert-like fan meeting, and even joined the SM Entertainment family for their annual concert, SMTOWN LIVE 2022.
Their new album brought about a sense of nostalgia, with a nod to their debut song “Into the New World” woven throughout the melody of “FOREVER 1,” and also gave members Tiffany and Sooyoung the opportunity to flex their songwriting and production talents.
Girls’ Generation’s new upbeat and light pop song “Lucky Like That” was named a hidden masterpiece for this year.
4. “Lonely Boy (The tattoo on my ring finger)” by TXT
TXT made their strong return with their fourth Korean language mini-album, Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child, in May of this year. The EP had no skips, and the members showed off a darker, more mature concept as “good boy(s) gone bad.”
Hueningkai and Yeonjun were credited as lyricists on TXT’s song, “Lonely Boy (The tattoo on my ring finger), which earned the distinction of a hidden masterpiece by industry experts.
5. “MVSK” by Kep1er
Kep1er debuted in January this year but has already caught the attention of industry experts. Their debut mini-album, First Impact, contained six songs, including their debut single, “WA DA DA,” and “Mvsk,” which has been named a hidden masterpiece!
6. “Russian Roulette” by THE BOYZ
THE BOYZ released their third single album, Maverick, at the end of 2021. Their song, “Russian Roulette” caught the attention of industry experts.
The lyrics of a dark, deadly love, the catchy melody, and the opportunity for all of the members’ voices to shine make this a song to not miss.
7. “Show Must Go On” by ONF
ONF, who are all currently serving in the military aside from U who is Japanese, also earned the distinction of having a hidden masterpiece in 2022.
Before five of the six members enlisted, the group released their seventh mini-album Goosebumps, and their second special album, Storage of ONF.
The song “Show Must Go On” was featured on Goosebumps and made the list of hidden masterpieces.
8. “Villain” by SHINee’s Key (feat. NCT DREAM’s Jeno)
After the successful release of his first solo album Face in 2018, SHINee‘s Key returned with equally successful releases, with a mini-album, Bad Love, and a second album, Gasoline.
For his new track, “Villain,” Key was joined by NCT DREAM’s Jeno to bring the song to life. The modern, trendy track earned its title as a hidden masterpiece.
9. “Circles” by SEVENTEEN
SEVENTEEN released their fourth full-length album, Face The Sun, in May of this year. They repackaged the album as Sector 17 in July, which included their track “Circles.”
“Circles” inspired many fans with its encouraging lyrics, co-written by member Woozi, about overcoming life’s challenges. The stripped-down instrumental allowed the members to showcase their lovely vocals, shining solo and coming together for a powerful post-chorus.
The optimistic song earned its spot on the 10 hidden masterpieces list of 2022.
10. “Illusion” by aespa
Finally, aespa‘s song “Illusion” made the list! aespa released their anticipated second mini-album, Girls, in July of this year. Their title track of the same name was a strong new single, and fans also fell in love with their pre-release track “Illusion.”
The confident lyrics and choreography are loved by fans and the song has been positively reviewed by music critics, who praised the electronic and futuristic hyper pop sound.
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