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.
The general consensus seems to be that most of the album tracks on Apink’s just-released Pink Revolution are stronger than the title track. Only One was a fine single, if a bit of a head-scratcher, but I would have been intrigued to see the response Drummer Boy would have garnered had it represented the group’s official return.
The song is not the typical Apink sound, veering closer to Red Velvet’s colorful, fizzy carnival-pop than any of their past tracks. But the thing is, Apink is at a point where they need to reinvent to stay relevant. It’s not a knock on the group — just a fact that they’re no longer the flavor of the month. Drummer Boy is an excellent example of the girls taking the reigns and outdoing most of these younger girl groups with the very sound that’s threatening to replace them. The song is rooted in an incredibly strong chorus, utilizing their harmonies to full effect, but coming off as attitude-fueled fun rather than desperation to sound like something they’re not. The kaleidoscopic pop instrumentation, highlighted by an emphasis on snare and an underlying acoustic strum, drenches their vocals in full-bodied, bombastic fashion. It feels fresh, joyful, and exciting. In other words, it sounds exactly like that “Pink Revolution” they’ve been promising us.