K-Town

The 20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2014

K-pop fans may remember 2014 as a dramatic, and at times heartbreaking, year. Members left groups fans envisioned them in for years, tragedy struck the live scene and the dark sides of the industry were brought to light in the wake of mourning one of the scene's most promising acts. But there's a shining light when fans recall what first attracted them to K-pop -- the music.

Drama aside, South Korean music remained stronger than ever this year with everyone from domestic legends to adorable newcomers all proving that they had something to offer our ears. Like in 2012 and 2013, the Billboard staff once again sifted through the charts and beyond to bring the 20 songs that break language barriers, push conventional music boundaries and best highlight all the K-pop scene has to offer. (And see our list of the 10 best K-pop albums here.)

Billboard 2014 Year in Music: See All of Our Coverage Here!

8. Hyolyn & JooYoung - "Erase"
Put together two prodigiously talented vocalists on a richly produced, jazz-inspired track and you have an instant hit. Newbie JooYoung reveals a silky tone that perfectly complements and counters Hyolyn's smoky vocals.

1. Beast - "Good Luck"
From big band to EDM to '80s synth-pop, some of the best K-pop songs of the year came from honing in on and perfecting a particular concept. But by pulling fresh music inspirations while still retaining their band's signature energy, Beast truly nailed it with this lovelorn breakup track that spans 360 degrees of entertainment and emotions.

Emotional piano lines and heartfelt croons evolve into fierce kiss-off lyrics over fizzy electronic production. Meanwhile, ominous cellos, sneering violins and other orchestral elements creep in before they're trounced by throbbing EDM and trap beats as the guys showcase their singing, belting and rapping skills. There isn't much more you could ask -- or that could fit -- in this meticulously put-together tour de force.