2019 K-Pop Christmas SongsFollowing a tradition first established in 2020, I’m celebrating the holidays today with the opening of gifts. These packages come in the form of seasonal K-pop tracks not yet reviewed on the blog.

This year, the rules are simple. I’m either keeping the gifts or planning to return them. There’s a pretty fine line between the two outcomes, and many songs barely eked into the “keep” category. But, I only have so much space for presents. Now is not the time to be wishy-washy!

Brand New Music – Hugs

Brand New Music artists delivered two holiday presents this year, but only one comes with its own music video. Unfortunately, Hug is a tedious, trap-driven midtempo I’ll be returning right away.

Verdict: Return

Cielogroove – Everyday Christmas (ft. TAN)

Cielogroove is a production team, and they’ve paired with boy group TAN for this little ditty. The song is inoffensive and bright, leveraging classic holiday sounds. It doesn’t really go anywhere, but it’s pleasant enough.

Verdict: Keep

C9 Artists – Merry Merry Christmas

I know we’re in safe hands when a Christmas song kicks off with sleigh bells! I love how dramatic the introduction is. This is a fun, upbeat carol – among the stronger holiday tracks released this year. The occasional blasts of choral vocals are my favorite touch.

Verdict: Keep

Chuu & George – Dear My Winter

This is one of those songs you play in the evening next to a fire as snow blankets the world outside. It’s very cozy and smooth and just kind of lulls you to sleep. George and Chuu’s vocals compliment each other well.

Verdict: Keep

Dreamcatcher – White

White is covered by many of girl groups, but its bright, fluffy nature isn’t something I associate with Dreamcatcher. The girls pull off the concept, even if it’s a bit toothless for them.

Verdict: Keep

Ha Hyunsang – When Winter Comes

This is really pretty. I’m a sucker for rock ballads and Hyunsang has a very evocative voice. It’s not the strongest melody I’ve heard in my life, but I find this pretty satisfying as long as I’m in the right mood.

Verdict: Keep

Jaurim – Mr. Klauss + If It Snows On Christmas Day

Well, this is a strange turn. These two songs are quite different from each other. One’s sort of a rocky/jazzy cabaret number and the other is more punk influenced. Neither is really for me, but I don’t begrudge anyone who loves this because it’s straight-up strange and that’s a great thing.

Verdict: Re-gift (because I think someone else is going to love it)

Jin (Lovelyz) – Our Christmas

I’ll always enjoy Jin’s voice and this song has the same hushed appeal as George & Chuu’s track. But, it lacks a memorable factor. It’s more snoozy than cozy, which is a slight but important distinction.

Verdict: Return

Jung Seung Hwan – My Favorite Winter

Jung Seung Hwan has become one of Korea’s go-to singers of wintery fare. This time the song is a bit more upbeat, which is definitely appealing. It’s very middle-of-the-road background music, but it has my toe tapping.

Verdict: Keep

Katie – Christmas Last Awhile (ft. paulkyte)

This has a kind of cool lo-fi quality and Katie’s vocals sound great. It’s very atmospheric, but I kept waiting for the song to kick into gear. I’m not sure if the production (particularly the percussion) always matches the melody. I like the instrumental solo in the middle, though.

Verdict: Return

Kim Chaewon – My Little Christmas

Oh my gosh these sleepy tracks really become a drag when you hear one after the other. I can’t tell if Chuu and George’s duet is actually superior or if I simply like it best because it was the first one I listened to! This one is quite dull, unfortunately.

Verdict: Return

Lee Boram, Punch & Yebin – White Christmas

This song has a bit more energy, but only a bit. It’s a great trio of vocalists, and that goes a long way. I’m not thrilled about anything here, but I’ll hang onto it just in case it improves with time.

Verdict: Keep

Lee Sujeong & Lee Woo – The Miracle of Christmas

I’m still waiting for that Woollim Family holiday track that only exists in my imagination, but at least we have one of their artists here. I was about to pass on this one until the beat came in and the music suddenly turned into a party. Not a fan of the verses, but the chorus works.

Verdict: Keep

Mirae – Snow Prince

Mirae cover a classic single from their agency seniors SS501. The original Snow Prince is great and this is too, but it doesn’t make any choices that would set it apart. Like NCT Dream’s recording of Candy, it feels superfluous. But, at least it’s upbeat.

Verdict: Keep (but I’ll probably just play the original)

Stella Jang – Winter Dream

Okay, I really like this. The quirky piano pop sound is refreshing and Stella’s vocal is light and filled with character. It’s not the kind of song I would put on any other playlist, but it’s charming and nostalgic.

Verdict: Keep

VERIVERY – Christmas Day

This was a late Christmas arrival, hiding in the bottom of the stocking. But, I’m keeping it! Sure, it’s a little rough around the edges, but its energy is infectious.

Verdict: Keep

Weeekly – Happy Christmas

This is also nice, though it definitely feels like holiday album filler. The melodies are a little uninspired, but it’s nice to hear something with more pep in its step. Weeekly make the perfect delivery method for Christmas cheer.

Verdict: Keep

WEi – Gift For You

The verses here are very boring but the chorus injects some life into the track. A second verse breakdown (seriously, we’re even doing this in Christmas songs?!?) feels like coal in the stocking, and from that point on the song struggles to recover its energy.

Verdict: Return

woo!ah! – Merry Christmas In Advance

There’s something refreshingly “old-school K-pop” about this. Like most songs in this feature, it’s not particularly “good.” But, it’s buoyant and bright and enhances the holiday season well enough.

Verdict: Keep

Yoon Jisung – December 24

We’re back to Sleepytime Express. Jisung has a lovely voice that compliments this hushed sound, but this is super boring and pretty cheesy.

Verdict: Return

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