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.
By all accounts, Taemin’s album Press It is a total triumph. For much of the album, he cosplays as either Michael Jackson or Prince. I don’t mean this as a bad thing, because those two artists should be every male soloist’s musical role models, even if that isn’t always the case. For a nice Prince-inspired track, be sure to check out the awesome Sexuality. But, today I want to spotlight the equally amazing Guess Who, which feels like a deliberate MJ-tribute.
The song even opens with Thriller-esque horror show sound effects before segueing into an almighty, guitar-assisted beat that frames the entire track from that moment on and defines the aggressively funky, charismatic-as-hell chorus. The song then becomes unstoppable just after the two minute mark, where a second layer of guitars (lifted straight from MJ’s Black Or White) briefly joins the mix. It’s a very specific sound, and one that’s incredibly nostalgic for me. My adoration of kpop was at least partially built on this kind of dirty, robotic funk. It’s such a treat to hear it again, performed and produced so flawlessly.