Most of the time, a kpop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-side tracks deserve recognition, too. In the singles-oriented world of kpop, I wanted to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
It’s been a couple weeks since Twice’s second mini album was released. Cheer Up continues to do well on the charts, and I still like it as much as I did when I first reviewed it. But today I want to write about I’m Gonna Be A Star not only because it’s one of my favorite tracks on the album, but also because I can’t help but think it’s the song that Produce 101‘s I.O.I should have debuted with, rather than the tepid Dream Girls.
I’m Gonna Be A Star is only available on the physical version of the album, which is a shame because it likely means many won’t hear it. It’s certainly not a melodic song, or much of an actual song at all, but it has energy to spare. Mostly composed of endlessly repeated, spoken refrains, it’s nonetheless catchy (in a brash, cartoonish way). The instrumental is a throwback to high energy 90’s dance music, reminiscent of the ubiquitous “Jock Jams” compilations released in the States during that period. The song lives and dies on this party production, acting as a strange little hype track that serves as an anthem to the determination necessary for rookie groups to become top-tier. In other words, it could basically have been a soundtrack to the entire Produce 101 series.
EDIT: Just realized that this song was part of Sixteen, the competition show that resulted in Twice’s formation. I never watched that series, but I’m glad that my inkling about it working as a rookie survival anthem has actually already been a reality.