Most of the time, a kpop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides deserve recognition, too. In the singles-oriented world of kpop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
Action is a song from Nine Muses’ 2013 mini-album Wild. It was written and produced by Song Sooyoon and Lee Joohyung (formerly of Sweetune, and now with Monotree). Like the girl’s Hurt Locker last year, the hook hits hard with a veritable wall of vocals that seem to stretch into infinity. In fact, in many ways Action feels like the template that Hurt Locker was built from, despite utilizing different composers.
The build during the verses is pretty standard girl group fare, but it’s that aforementioned chorus that steals the show. It’s all about the moment when the music drops out, clearing space for the hook to burst in with an undeniable punch. It’s a powerful production choice, made even more so when coupled with the tight layering of the girls’ voices. This feat is repeated later, when the rap break pares down the instrumental before building back up to the final, explosive refrain.