To end the year on a rocking and head-banging note, we’re revisiting a few of the best Kpop rock songs of 2022 that gave birth to a melodious blend of perfection. Some of these songs are neither a 100% of pop, nor rock, but rather allow for the mingling of many other sounds pertaining to the jazz, hip-hip, indie, alt and other arenas. Jamming to these 22 songs is also the perfect way to bid 2022 farewell and start afresh as the clocks ticks 12 on the new year while you dance the night away with your imaginary guitars in hand.
Quite a few other bops may have been missed out on as it isn’t possible for us to add every song that was released this year, but please feel free to link your playlists in the comments section after having a taste of ours. Without feeding off another second of your time, let’s plug in the speakers on full blast mode and make the most of the last remaining hours of the year.
Best Kpop Rock Songs of 2022 That Made Us Drift Away in the Feels
Run BTS by BTS
Off the septet’s 2022 album Proof, this is the first track on Disc 2, and is not to be confused with their previous song RUN. Easily climbing high as the ultimate fan-favourite song on the album, Run BTS drove the band’s fanbase crazy. This stood out even among the group’s older significant hits on the long-running tracklist with its foregrounding hip-hop sound accompanied with a guitar tune that made us all clutch onto our pearls (in the best way possible).
Good Boy Gone Bad by TOMORROW X TOGETHER
TXT has been foraying into the rock sound ever since last year’s Frost, LO$ER=LOVER and Dear Sputnik, which completely turned around the image held out by the five members under the banner of HYBE’s music label. Further delving into the same genre, but slipping in to the dark side, with aggressive guitar riffs that bring the storm to us.
Lovender by Han Seung Yun
Released in February 2022, Lovender stands as the artist’s first mini album EP. Its titular track is a rock ballad that puts emphasis on the emotions conveyed by the singer. Want to fall into your daydreaming trap of all lovey-dovey thoughts or thoughts relating to a break-up you never had? This should be your go-to song to immerse yourself in all those feelings.
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Tomboy by (G)I-DLE
Punk rock fans may find a liking to this (G)I-DLE song from the album I Never Die. Electric guitars blare off with a fierce energy that intimidates you as you listen to it, but still never lets you pull away due to its addictive edgy vibe. The instrumentals off this track are the winning charm that you will want to stay for.
Vision by Dreamcatcher
There can never be a rock playlist emerging from the kpop industry that won’t have Dreamcatcher’s excellence tied to it, and there’s a reason for the same. Crowned as the queens of the genre, their music often tilts more towards the J-rock sound that reminds you anime soundtracks. Bringing them back on the map with their signature style, this track is bound to awaken the hero in you too as you string your own main character moments in your head.
Black Eye by Vernon
Vernon’s overt inspiration from 2000 music charms like Avril Lavigne, Fall Out Boy, Green Day and more is so evident that it takes you back on the emo-pink ride of your childhood. Keeping the lyrics, the video visuals and the song itself authentic as per the much-loved angsty outpour we still hold on to for our dear emo hearts, Vernon’s attempt is a straight winner after his last year’s combination with fellow SEVENTEEN band-member Joshua for 2 Minus 1, yet another rock song that has a fanbase all to itself.
Voyager by Kihyun
Monsta X’s main vocalist has always voiced his desire to dip his toes in the rock genre, and so when it came to debuting as a soloist earlier this year with his premier single Voyager, he took this chance to his heart. Meshed with pop and jazzy tunes, Kihyun lives out his dream as the frontman of a rock band, with his music reminding us of English pop bands of the old day, simply swaying to the beat of musical instruments, no embellishments needed.
Play by Lucy
From their first studio album Childhood, this specific song plays out the pressures of adulating in a constantly racing environment. The musical tone of the track carries a mellow pop rock sound that cushions the ache of those feelings that often remain unvoiced as we often forget to check up on our inner child.
RING ma Bell (what a wonderful world) by Billlie
Right from the first second, the track boasts a heavy punk-rock sound that makes you hold your breath for the entire experience of the song. Sporting the angsty teen spirit, the song rises high as a pleasant surprise for the listeners.
More by Jhope
The More you say about Jhope’s solo debut, the lesser it is! He shook the foundation of his pre-established cheerful, bubbling and sunny persona with this eye-opening dark flip of the coin. Tapping into the edgy, grungy bold side of Kpop and his rapping disposition, Hope’s More plays out a heavy guitar tune that leads you to the enplane and leaves you in awe of how the artist built a novel soundscape for his solo as opposed to his previous mixtape projects.
Zero by Drippin
Cooked well as a delectable aggressive feast from the fourth generation band, the song slows down for a melodious pre-chorus, with the bridge once again building up a harmonious blend, bringing the track to a climax that instantly helps you envision the cut-throat drive to win a challenge.
Test Me by Xdinary Heroes
Leading a rebellious movement and striving to build their unique image on the music scene, the video shows the group fighting off the existing flawed hierarchy in the industry, putting an even clearer emphasis on the issue with lyrics like “If you rig a rigged system, are you the villain or the hero?” It’s true that the video is more compelling than the song itself, which fuses electronic rock with the punk rock vivacity, but the full package of the story they seek to be telling with the MV, the lyrics and high-fuelled instrumentals is a breakthrough indeed.
Dirt On My Leather by WOODZ
Throwing it back to the olden and golden era of AC/DC and Metallica, WOODZ reinvents his identity with his holistic rock EP Colorful Trauma, especially with his Dirt On My Leather performance that raises the roof. The titular track on the same EP, I Hate You is yet another rock release that gets you instantly hooked, but it still carries forth a humbling familiarity we all love gravely, however, Dirt On my Leather is the best possible way to start the album on a high note.
Definition of Ugly Is by The Rose
No one knows their way around soft-rock-ballads better than The Rose. The lyrics of this song scream one’s self-insecurities so loud that the instrumentals have to come to your musical aid and comfort you. The last few seconds before the songs fades out, the instrumentals shine brighter than ever and go all out, granting us with one of the most satisfying finales.
Blessed Cursed by ENHYPEN
ENHYPEN too has kept their sound strong and aggressive since the beginning, especially when it comes to delivering title tracks. Sprinkled with the 90’s aesthetic, the song plays out an electric guitar riff that gets stuck in your head from the get go, as the first second of the playback itself establishes the ferocious foundation. Coming in after the former year’s Attention, Please, this caught on early too and had the fans breaking their ‘on a loop’ button.
Azalea by Rolling Quartz
Originally sung by MAYA, Rolling Quartz makes Azalea their own in this perfect re-creation. The song will find its fanbase among metal lovers as well, and it could’ve easily played during one of Supernatural episodes in the background and blessed us all.
Ruby by Woozi
Woozi was the second member from Seventeen to come out with a solo mixtape after Hoshi, and his Ruby made our heads spin in the most fun way possible. With the song’s temperament initiating with a ballad touch, it soon brings about an interesting rock twist that we neither saw coming, nor could we stop appreciating it.
Wild Flower by RM (with youjeen)
RM’s titular track off his first official solo album Indigo was the warmest hug we received this year. Wild Flower ensured us all that there was no need to go all out like a firework, a fleeting spectacle that does no good in the long-run, as opposed to a field of flowers and the open sky that help ease one’s pain and accord a longterm relief. Pairing up with the lead singer of the band, Cherry Filter, BTS’ leader and his atmospheric song supported by the undertone of the rock sound, helped us all cry our hearts out for the better.
Still Here by Onewe
Onewe is yet another confirmed feature of any rock playlist, and the band deserves all the love. Released as a single in 2022, Still Here sports a soothing harmony that ease your heartache with its soft rock ballad countenance.
Don’t Forget by WONHO
Wonho changed the pace of his discography this year by coming out with Don’t Forget. Taking the alt-rock route, he meddles with angst unlike before against the instrumentals of a guitar.
No Celestial by LE SSERAFIM
The fourth track on their Antifragile EP, No Celestial is the one of a kind song on the entire EP that breathes the vision of girl rock bands back to life. Charging straight ahead with a rebellious fury, the song is complemented by the signature pop-punk excellence that puts the message across well.
Can’t Control Myself by TAEYEON
From the INVU album, Can’t Control Myself is one of the unique takeaways due to its punk-infused ballad strategy. Taeyeon’s poignant vocals remains at the centre as always and steal the show, compelling you to put this song on repeat.
Which of these rocking tunes is your ultimate anthem? Which other kpop songs with rock elements have caught your attention this past year? Let us know some of the favourites from your playlist? Leave your go-to tracks in the comments section below.
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