The Best of 2011: Intro and Rules

Yes, people, it's that time of the year again! I would like to apologize for missing 3/4 of the year in terms of blogging, and I know I always say I'll change and I never do, but as I've said before, 2011 is a turning point in my life away from PRN. PRN is important to me, yes, but I have a life away from this as well, and there are so many things I have to do before PRN becomes my entire life (3 1/2 years to go!), so please bear with me while I sort things out.

That said, TIME FLIES SO FAST! I honestly can't believe it's year-end list time, I just blinked and we have to go through the rules all over again! I've made some major revisions to the rules, and I've also added new rules to better explain everything, as well as to adapt to new trends in k-pop. But before that, a little introduction for those who just started reading PRN this year.

December for PRN has always been year-end countdown time. Every year, without fail, I chose my favorite songs from the past 11/12 months and featured them on the blog. In 2008 I made a list of 70+ songs and chose my favorite song, in 2009 I had this whacked out format which even I don't understand anymore, and in 2010 I decided to keep it simple by counting down my 50 favorite songs from the year.

This year will be a lot like 2010 in terms of format, because 50 songs is a realistic number and accurate enough to cover a year's worth of releases. That said, I would like to stress a few things about this list, or special, or whatever you'd like to call this. First, this is in no way a definitive list of the "best songs of 2011", because I didn't hear every single release this year and I am in no position to call my favorites "the best". The songs featured here are my personal favorites and the rankings have no factual basis, they are ranked by how much I like the songs.

That said, because I am only covering 50 songs, that does not mean that, one, I didn't hear certain songs, and two, I did not like more. They are the top 50 songs, but I didn't only like 50 songs this year. This list initially had 136 songs that all followed the rules stated below, but had I featured all of them I would've died trying to put all the posts together, so I trimmed it down to 50, and by November 25th I locked the list, with 50 songs, from any edits.

1. The song must be on an album, single, EP (mini-album in Korean vocab) or digital single released and promoted anytime between January 1, 2011 and November 25, 2010.

2. The song must have been either written, composed, performed, or any combination of, by a Korean artist, songwriter or composer, regardless of the territory it was released in, e.g., Japan, US, etc. For example, KARA's "Winter Magic" was written by Japanese, however KARA themselves are Korean, so the song is eligible.

3. One UNIQUE entry per artist, per territory/country/language. However, this does not mean that the artist only had one good song this year, he/she/they could have had a whole album full of fantastic songs. The purpose of this rule is to show the variety in pop this year. I'm sure you wouldn't want to see the list full of DBSK. So for example, SNSD had Japanese, Korean and English releases this year - the list allows one song per language/country.

4. Solo and sub-group work by (an) artist(s) in a group is eligible, and will be counted separately from whatever material the group releases in the same year. For example, JYJ released "IN HEAVEN" as a group this year, but all three members also recorded solo songs for Drama OSTs. All three solo songs are eligible, and so is any song from "IN HEAVEN". Also, After School Red, After School Blue and Orange Caramel are counted independently of After School, so "In The Night Sky" and "Wonder Boy", "Shanghai Romance", as well as any After School song released this year, are *all* eligible.

5. Duets are not given special exception. For example, "Journey", HoMin/DBSK's duet with SNSD's Seohyun for "Paradise Ranch", counts as a Korean release from DBSK, and Korean solo work from Seohyun, therefore if "Journey" is on the list, "Dreams Come True", Seohyun's duet with Donghae, and any other Korean song from DBSK (as a duo), are no longer eligible.

6. If an album released prior was given a re-release in 2011, only the singles released for and after the re-release PLUS the added tracks will be eligible. Tracks that were on the previous album released before 2011 will be disqualified.

7. Japanese releases of songs originally released prior to 2011 are eligible as well, as long as the original Korean version was officially released before January 1, 2011. For example, the Japanese version of After School's "Bang!" is eligible because although the Korean version was a 2010 release, the Japanese version was released in 2011. However, if, for example, I choose to put in the English version of "The Boys", the Korean version is no longer eligible, and vice versa, because they were both released in 2011.

8. Live performances are eligible only if they are featured on an album officially released by the record label or can be bought via iTunes or other digital music stores.

9. Covers and songs from compilations are also eligible, however all previous rules still apply.

Phew. I hope the rules are clear to everyone, because we start with song number 50 tomorrow, and finish with my favorite song of 2011 on New Year's Eve, December 31. Here we goooooo!


  1. I am so excited to read about your top 50! I find that we often have similar tastes in music, so I'm curious as to where some of my favourites land in your top songs :D

  2. "The song must be on an album, single, EP (mini-album in Korean vocab) or digital single released and promoted anytime between January 1, 2011 and November 25, 2010"

    I think you mean November 25, 2011 C: Just pointing that out.

    Looking forward to reading about your favourite songs~


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