Although Block B sub-unit Bastarz’s 2015 mini album was heralded by its heavy hip-hop title track, the rest of the EP ended up being far more diverse in sound. With this in mind, the retro funk/jazz fusion vibe of Selfish & Beautiful Girl (이기적인 걸) isn’t as surprising as it first may seem. Co-composed by member P.O, the track is nonetheless a fresh departure from the material Block B has been giving us lately.
As a song, Selfish really consists of three main segments, broken evenly between the three members. Of these, U-Kwon’s chorus is definitely the strongest. Its punchy melody feels familiar, but impactful enough to drive the track. It’s also well-produced, buttressed by an army of backing vocals that give it real oomph. P.O’s verses fly by with little fanfare, but it’s nice to hear him pull back a bit when it comes to his tone. His gravelly performance style — such a hallmark in Block B tracks — just wouldn’t have connected with this type of loose instrumental production.
B-Bomb’s pre-choruses are my least favorite element. This is where the song wears its jazz influences most strongly, pulling in a sprinkling of piano to give a more improvised feeling. But it feels like he’s singing in an uncomfortably high key, and I’m not sure the actual melody works to set up the chorus as strongly as it could have. In the production department, I’d have loved more of an 80’s funk influence and less of the jazz. There’s no denying that it’s a fun and interesting ride, but its hybrid nature falls just short of the excellence found on many of the tracks they gave us last year.