When I listen to music I do it two ways: current and backwards. So this will first include the new music of 2008 that impressed me and then the older music that I discovered and listened to like it was new.
Music of 2008
Summary: The Smiths and Kpop ruled my life. It was fantastic.
Perfume - シークレットシークレット (Secret Secret)
OMGoodness, all I did was play this song for hours at a time. This song is the best song of 2008 in my book.
손담비 - 미쳤어 (Son Dam Bi, Michesso)
This song is exactly what a good pop song should sound like. Son Dam Bi really impressed me this year. After releasing this and "Bad Boy" she's become one of my favorite newer Kpop artists. Let's keep up the good work!
빅뱅 - 마지막 인사 (Big Bang, Majimak Insa)
Released at the end of last year, but from the time I bought the album to the time I left Korea (and after that) this was on my playlist to be constantly played.
자우림 - 幸福한 王子 (Jaurim, Haengbok han Wangja)
Two words: Surfer rock. And this was one of the first songs they played live! I wish I knew it then. :(
Alizee - Lily Town
BEST SONG ON THE ALBUM. It's so poppy and fast. I love French. I love Alizee.
태양 - 나만 바라봐 (Taeyang, Naman Barabwa)
The Big Bang machine hits again. Can they NOT make good pop?! I decided not to care for their solo projects, but after that played constantly wherever I was in Korea, I couldn't not love it. It's too good.
원더걸스 - So Hot (Wonder Girls)
OMG YES. Wonder Girls is awesome. I can't get enough of them. Probably my favorite active Kpop artist
安室奈美恵 - Rock Steady (Namie Amuro)
The 60s70s80s single was a big thing for me. This was my favorite of the 3 songs. Awesome concept, awesome PV, awesome song.
Girls Aloud - Girl Overboard
I love them.
Veronica Maggio - Stopp
SWEDEN IS AWESOME. I've wanted to find Scandinavian pop in any form for a LONG time, but never came across any. Enter Veronica Maggio, with her dance pop songs mixed with a very Motown-inspired sound and I found the perfect pop artist. Her first album is better all around, but this song blows them all away.
배슬기 - 다가와 (Bae Seul Ki, Dagawa)
Bae Seul Ki and Wonder Girls are really what brought me to start to listening to new Kpop. Though she wasn't too popular, both of her albums are solid. This song I couldn't stop playing.
Perfume - GAME
I've been hearing of Perfume on various message boards since they released "Vitamin Drop", but this si the only time I really listened to them. This album is complete perfection the whole way through. (Save for "Butterfly", which I just can't handle.)
자우림 - Ruby. Sapphire. Diamond. (Jaurim)
I SAW THEM IN CONCERT. AND BOUGHT A SIGNED COPY OF THIS THERE. Another solid album from the best Korean band ever. The fact that they sung a majority of this album in concert certainly helped me love it as much as I do.
Alizee - Psychedeliques
This really came out last November, but I got it in January so it counts. I was weary about her music quality once she split with Mylene Farmer but she came out with, IMO, her best album yet. This really solidified my fandom of her. Can't get better French pop than her.
Girls Aloud - Tangled Up
Again, released late last year but I found and fell in love with Girls Aloud. Britain is the best.
安室奈美恵 - BEST FICTION (Namie Amuro)
A best of album, but this basically spans the whole time I've been actively following Namie's releases. The plane ride home, I didn't listen to anything else. I grew to love FUNKY TOWN and Baby Don't Cry and basically ignited my Namie fan flame, realizing that I will probably eat up everything she throws at me.
The Smiths - What She Said
The second half of 2008 was basically me discovering that The Smiths is the greatest band ever created. This has fast become my favorite song by them. (not without intense competition) The lyrics are so lovely and moved me to read the book that it was based off of, "By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept" by Elizabeth Smart. It is the most gorgeous book I've ever read with a command of the English language I can only dream to have.
정훈희- 빗속의 연인들 (Jung Hoon Hee, Pisok ei Yeonindul)
While not my favorite on the album, it's the first that really grabbed me in on first listen. The late '60s were a great time for pop, and Korea was no exception to that.
The Smiths - Hand in Glove
Probably my favorite single from them. It's such a romantic song and the beat just flows along so well with it all.
박지윤 - 성인식 (Park Ji Yoon, Sunginshik)
I got this PV back in 2003 or so, but my ears hadn't grown accustomed to dance beats and catchy tunes it seems because I hardly watched it. When I went to Korea I picked up this album (an 2 of her others) on a whim and fell in LOVE with this and her. 2000 in Kpop was lovely.
S.E.S - Requiem
I bought all of S.E.S's albums through HMV Japan for no apparent reason, but I did not regret it. This was the first song that really opened my up to the late-90s Kpop everyone raved about before, but I only really followed Baby V.O.X. Now the only music HMV recommends to me are Chinese and Korean pop, but it was certianly worth it.
Fin.K.L - Feel Your Love
Same as above. I haven't liked as many songs by Fin.K.L that I did by S.E.S, but this song is perfection.
王菲 - 悶 (Faye Wong, Men)
I think I listened to this for a fair portion of 2007 too, but it really carried on for months. My favorite Faye Wong song. She needs a new album. NOW.
엄정화 - 초대 (Uhm Jung Hwa, Chodae)
1998 is awesome. I got this CD for 3 dollars in an underground market. i didn't even really like/know about her much so I'm not sure why I bought it. But I'm glad I did. This song is the standout track and again I played it on repeat for a very long time.
宇多田ヒカル - Addicted to You (Hikaru Utada)
In 2008 I found out that I do really like Utada. I never really listened to her earlier songs, but they are REALLY catchy.
Metric - On The Sly
I got this album randomly one day. I loved their 2nd album and bought their 3rd, but that one didn't really impress me, so I'm not sure why I picked this one up. I then didn't listen to it for a good 6 months. In November I put in my CD player on a whim and then put this song on repeat for the last 2 months of the year. Now Metric has turned into more than "Old World Underground, Where Are You Now."
The Smiths - Meat is Murder
This might have taken it's place as my favorite Smiths album. Pure perfection is all I can really say.
The Smiths - Louder Than Bombs
Unreleased tracks and singles not on albums. I originally thought that this album was vestigial, but I was completely wrong. Now I can't fathom NOT owning this album.
정훈희 - Best (Jung Hoon Hee)
SOLID late 60's early 70's pop. When I got back from my trip all I really listened to was this and Perfume's album for a good month. I only wish I knew about her while I was there so I could get more of her stuff - 12 songs isn't nearly enough.
宇多田ヒカル - Distance (Hikaru Utada)
Yeah, I listened to this a lot. I can say I'm a Utada fan. >.>;
東京事変 - 娯楽 (Tokyo Jihen, Variety)
I don't know why I didn't buy this when it came out. even though I didn't like OSCA this album is, as usual, solid start to finish. Shiina Ringo, I'll never underestimate you again. <3
For 2009 I'm looking forward to Aya Ueto coming back after an almost 2 year hiatus and anything Big Bang and Wonder Girls throw at me. Though I'm not a SNSD fan their "Gee" is my first obsession of 2009. Great pop song.