In K-pop, the chart toppers will always be the latest and greatest comebacks and debuts, but there is another measure of popularity that applies particularly to the Korean world. Karaoke may be what it’s known as throughout most of the world, but to Koreans, going to a “noraebang” (or more literally, a “Singing Room”), is an entirely different experience. Typically guests get their own private room to go all out, as opposed to having to work up the courage to sing in front of a bar full of strangers.
So what goes on in these noraebangs anyway? And what do they have to do with K-pop popularity? In Korea, it’s hard to go two blocks without having the bright neon lights of a noraebang advert shining in your face. It’s hardly irreplaceable, and a necessary part of modern Korean culture. So much so that the songs that are sung in most noraebangs are a testament to what’s currently hot. So without further ado, here are the top ten Noraebang Hits for September.
10. “One Person (Big OST)”
Although the ending to the drama may have been a downer for many, the OST has remained popular a month after the fact. Broken-hearted? Huh Gak’s soulful love song should be your current song of choice. But just because your emotions are there doesn’t mean you’ll magically sing like Huh Gak. Belt out with caution, friends. Easy does it.
9. “I Have a Lover”
Lee Eun Mi
It’s not just the idols who get love from this popularity contest. Lee Eun Mi’s “I Have a Lover” has been around for seven years now (hard to believe) and has been covered by just about everyone from Girls’ Generation‘s Taeyeon to Clazziquai‘s Alex. To say it simply, this beautiful tune is classic, which is why it remains a staple in the noraebang experience.
8. “For You”
Yim Jaebum’s stint on I Am a Singer unfortunately ended prematurely, but the legendary rocker’s songs are ever so popular. “For You” was released back in 2000 on Im Jaebum’s 4th album, Story of two years. But its current popularity might be due to the fact that it was sung by Lee Hayi in the K-pop Star casting finals. So if you loved her cover, you’ll definitely love Yim Jaebum’s original version.
7. “Beautiful Night”
Beast’s Midnight album hit the top of the charts when it was released, but a volley of releases since have bumped it from the top. Fortunately “Beautiful Night” is still a great song that is sure to get everyone in the room pumped up and excited. A great mood setter and an awesome way to get the party started, it should come as no surprise why “Beautiful Night” makes our list at number 7.
6. “Beautiful Night”
You’re not seeing double! It just happens to be a coincidence that “Beautiful Night” by Ulala Session comes right after Beast’s “It’s a Beautiful Night.” So don’t be fooled by the soulful intro; much like the latter, Ulala Session’s debut title track is very energetic and gets everyone on their feet. Plus points for the amazing music video!
Big Mama came onto the scene in 2003 and made a splash for breaking the traditional mold of girl groups. It’s not just about their tiny waists or pretty faces when it comes to these four members. Their amazing vocal talent has commanded them respect, so it makes sense that the Korean population wants to imitate these powerhouses of song. Enter “Chenyum,” a song from their first album, Like the Bible….
4. “Loving U”
Of course “Loving U,” the Sistar hit of the summer, makes the list at number 3. Who wouldn’t want to rap with aegyo like Bora, or sing until you’re hoarse trying to hit Hyorin’s notes? A feel good, falling-in-love song, girls with their hearts aflutter are all over this single. And maybe a few fanboys as well…
3. “lla illa”
The guitar playing, singer-songwriter made a splash this summer and was dubbed the “second IU.” Her track “illa illa” was chosen to be on the OST for A Gentleman’s Dignity, while her Korean debut album, My First June, soared to the top of the charts. Listening to the song, it’s not that hard to see why people are singing it left and right.
2. “My Love (A Gentleman’s Dignity OST)”
CNBLUE‘s Lee Jong Hyun
Move over, Jung Yonghwa, the people have spoken and they seem to love Lee Jong Hyun’s smooth vocals. This is the second song from the A Gentleman’s Dignity OST to make the list, and for good reason. When you combine an awesome song with a stellar drama, it’s almost a surefire way to get that song popular enough to be sung by Koreans everywhere. This would be an easy number one if it weren’t for… well, you all know what’s coming….
1. “Gangnam Style”
Was it ever really a question? The song that everyone is declaring the next “Macarena” is, of course, going to be the number one thing that everyone is singing the second they step into a noraebang. Ridiculously catchy, incredibly popular and undoubtedly played 24/7 in the streets of Seoul, “Gangnam Style” caps the list of most popular songs to sing at noraebang for September. So here’s to watching this MV for the millionth time…
List compiled using TJ Media’s Popular Songs chart from September 1 2012 to September 21 2012.
What other songs would you add to the list? Which is your fave? Chime in….