There are 4 songs from K-pop girl groups that featured in 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time, critics’ picks.
70. Red Velvet, “Dumb Dumb” (2015)
There are pop hooks that grab you, and then there are hooks that strangle you and absolutely refuse to let go. Red Velvet’s “Dumb Dumb” epitomizes that latter, with the quirky quintet repeating the word “dumb” more than 200 times throughout this single, brilliantly exemplifying why K-pop acts — particularly the girl groups — craft some of the most addictive singles in pop. — J.B.
59. f(x), “Rum Pum Pum Pum” (2013)
A song that embodies why the K-pop scene is as creative as it is weird, experimental outfit f(x) blended samba-inspired production, alien-like harmonies and the melody of a famous Christmas carol for what turned out to be a huge hit. The ladies blend mysterious coos and energetic raps to compare their dating style to pushy wisdom teeth, all while playing with rhythm and vocal tempos, resulting in one of the many standout tracks on their beloved Pink Tape album from 2013. — J.B.
43. Wonder Girls, “Nobody” (2008)
Nobody” was a breakthrough moment in K-pop history, with the No. 76–charting Hot 100 hit marking one of the first indicators that Korean acts had appeal in America. Musically, the track is an infectious, Motown-inspired earworm that encapsulated Wonder Girls’ charming penchant for throwback-inspired concepts — this time embracing girl groups of the ’50s and ’60s — and undeniable hooks (the hand-clapping on the chorus is incorporated into the song’s iconic dance). — J.B.
21. Girls’ Generation, “I Got a Boy” (2012)
For years, Girls’ Generation not only ruled Korea’s girl-group scene but the country’s entire zeitgeist, earning a string of No. 1 hits and ruling the Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list for three different years. “I Got a Boy” is what happens when the greats strive to get greater, with this multi-genre, tempo-shifting Frankenstein’s-monster jam that jumps from drum ‘n’ bass to bubblegum hooks to Aguilera-esque belt sections. While the single still divides some listeners for not being as easy to swallow as effervescent GG classics like “Gee,””Oh!” or “Genie,” the ambition and creativity exhibited here act as an overall proof to why girl-group music is in a league of its own in terms of excitement and boundary pushing — J.B.