As a companion to my Top Ten Singles lists, it’s time to look at some of the best album tracks and b-sides from the best artists. B1A4 is one of my favorite k-pop groups, and a lot of that is due to their strength as an albums artist. Here’s the best of the best.
10. If… (As Long As There’s You) (from In The Wind – 2012)
From its stately, string-laden opening to its surging, layered chorus, If makes a case for B1A4 as a mature vocal group that still knows how to bring the drama.
9. You Make Me A Fool (from Solo Day – 2014)
Few songs recall summertime as strongly as Fool. Preferring a subtle acoustic base over more showy production, the focus is on the guys’ emotive vocals and the song’s simple, lulling guitar.
8. Tell Me Why (from Solo Day (Japanese Single) – 2014)
The first time B1A4 fully proved that their Japanese output could be just as strong as their Korean material. This Jinyoung-composed track propells forward on a dramatic bed of cascading synths to grand effect.
7. Yesterday (from What’s Happening – 2013)
B1A4 ballads are almost always impressive, but Yesterday carries with it a certain heft that pulls it above the pack. It’s also a powerful spotlight on Sandeul’s impressive vocals.
6. I Didn’t See It (from 3 – 2016)
One of the group’s most recent songs, and it’s a doozy. Beautiful flute ornamentation drapes over a melancholic pop track with one heck of a chorus. (full review)
5. You Are A Girl, I Am A Boy (from Sweet Girl – 2015)
Built upon a country-inspired midtempo stomp, You Are A Girl‘s crunchy hook is pure power pop at its best. It’s much, much stronger than its silly title lets on.
4. A Glass Of Water (from Solo Day – 2014)
We all know what they really mean when they say “water” (or 물, in this case), and the off-kilter dizziness of this track makes that even more apparent. But nothing can top its seemless transition into an anthemic singalong during its final minute.
3. In The Air (from In The Wind – 2012)
One of the group’s most galvanizing tracks. It could’ve settled to be a solid, simplistic pop song, but its surging instrumentation and powerful vocal performance mark it as one of their best.
2. 10 Years Later (from Sweet Girl – 2015)
The rare case of an unpromoted song being superior to its parent album’s actual title track, 10 Years stands as one of the group’s best ballads. Its grand, swelling chorus is the stuff pop dreams are made of, with a spot on vocal performance and killer melody.
1. Starlight Song (from What’s Happening – 2013)
Originally considered for double title track status, Starlight Song was ultimately pushed into b-side territory. Even so, it’s better than many of the group’s actual singles, surging with anthemic energy and a gorgeous pop melody. K-pop simply doesn’t have enough of these types of songs — free from gimmicks, with a focus on the power of classic songwriting instead.