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.
A large chunk of VIXX’s discography was built with the help of production team MELODESIGN, including Dynamite, the best single they released this year. Because of this, I was happy to see that the group hadn’t completely cut ties with them in favor of other producers. Desperate is the sole song on the new mini album that features their work, and although title track The Closer is growing on me, I think I actually would have preferred this one to lead the promotional campaign.
Though not among their very best album tracks, Desperate features many of the elements I love about VIXX’s music. It has a dramatic song structure, starting as a ballad before transforming into a futuristic dance track. It also doesn’t skimp on the darker elements the group has been striving for lately. The creepy violin solo that opens the track sets a somber vibe that is built on by the atmospheric, string-laced production. Then, the song absolutely comes to life in the uptempo chorus. I especially like the aggressive electro refrain that punctuates the post-chorus moments. It hearkens back to the sound the band made their name on back in 2013, but at the same time doesn’t feel like a complete retread. It also gives Ravi something to latch onto during his rap verse, resulting in a wonderfully off-balance segment that sends the track soaring.