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.
EXO-CBX’s new mini album is absolutely fantastic from start to finish. I could have picked any track to feature today and would have had nothing but nice things to say about it. In many ways, the album feels like what I was hoping for from Shinee’s newest release. It’s bright, funky and upbeat throughout, without ever resorting to trendiness or gimmickry.
For now Rhythm After Summer is my standout on the album. It’s such a joyous piece of music, from its ever-present rhythm guitar to that buoyant chorus. The song has a throwback vibe, recalling pieces of disco and 70’s soul, but it’s wrapped in an ebullient, ultra-melodic package that easily catapults it towards 2016 relevancy. I love tracks like this — ones that don’t feel as if they’re trying to hit a bunch of focus-grouped points on their way to chart dominance. Instead, Rhythm feels loose and at ease in its own skin, and allows all three members to show ample personality and charm. It would have acted as an incredible summer single, but then of course the song’s lyrical point wouldn’t have made much sense! Personally, I’m just delighted to confirm that there is indeed such a thing as rhythm… after the summer. It doesn’t all need to be ballads and serious faces as we move into the holidays.