On Tuesday, Dec. 29, Rolling Stone India released their "10 Best K-pop Albums of 2020" list. Keep on reading to see which K-pop albums made their rankings.
Rolling Stone is the Indian division of the highly-acclaimed pop culture and music monthly magazine. Rolling Stone India was established in 2008 by MW Com, the same publisher of Man's World magazine. Currently, Nirmika Singh is the executive producer of the publication. The magazine and website focus on music, entertainment, and politics.
The list, penned by Ridhi Chakraborty, notes how this year was one filled with transformations and self-empowerment. According to them, this year was a search for an identity beyond fame and was a year with a "whole lot of magic."
Their number one album on the list is BTS's "Map of the Soul: 7." The album was selected for its powerful songwriting, show-stopping production, and thematic elements. The album shows BTS revealing more about their true selves, more so than they have in the past, giving us a deep look into their deepest fear and their most sought-after goal. The members were all able to flex their various skills to the highest potential, whether it be through their vocals, raps, songwriting, or production.
This BTS album clearly shows how much effort they put into making this record as meaningful as possible. Not only does the album have solo tracks and sub-unit songs, but they also have prominent collaborations on the song. They worked with Sia, Ed Sheeran, and Troye Sivan for this album.
The number two album on the list is TWICE's "Eyes Wide Open". The album was praised as TWICE's best record to date. "Eyes Wide Open" features a plethora of amazing musical elements, such as hardcore drops, haunting melodies, and amazing vocals. Every song on the album took you on an adventure, taking you on sharp turns with genres you would not expect. Some songs have dark synths, others have minimalist tropical pop vibes, and others have fun disco-funk elements that have taken K-pop by storm. "Eyes Wide Open" was praised as a new artistic era for the nine-member K-pop girl group.
The third-ranking album on the list is "EQUAL" by WOODZ, who is also known as Cho Seungyoun. The publication notes WOODZ's beginnings as a member of the 2015 boy group UNIQ and then re-debuting in the short-lived K-pop group, X1 in 2019. Despite all that he had to go through, his passion and perseverance paid off on "EQUAL" which solidifies him as one of the most refreshing and refined artists of this year. "EQUAL" talks about love, life, death, illness, and mental health in a manner that is raw and emotionally-driven.
The album is filled with dark love, paranoia, and angst, all beautifully packaged together by WOODZ's voice. The album has collaborators from prominent artists, such as Colde and Punchnello, bringing the album to its full greatness,
From 4-10, the ranking goes:
4. GFRIEND - "回: Walpurgis Night"
5. Hwasa - "María"
6. Stray Kids - "IN LIFE"
7. TXT (TOMORROW X TOGETHER) - "mimisode1 : Blue Hour"
8. Kai - "KAI - The 1st Mini Album"
9. SF9 - "FIRST COLLECTION"
10. BoA - "BETTER"
Did your favorite K-pop album make the list?
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Written by Alexa Lewis