90’s boy group Sechs Kies have recently returned after sixteen years away from the music scene, signing with mega agency YG Entertainment. Back in k-pop’s first generation of idols, the title track system wasn’t quite as refined and uniform as it is now, so it was a bit tricky to decide which songs would actually be in the running for this countdown. But although not ever single has a music video to go with it, here are the ten best musical moments that soundtracked Sechs Kies’ rise (and resurgence) to the top.
10. Hunch (예감) (1999)
A bouncy midtempo r&b track that represented a shift into more mature, self-directed territory for the guys.
9. Leaving You (너를 보내며) (1998)
Moving back into ballad mode after their success with Couple, Leaving You is a gorgeous, if somewhat slight, track that adds much needed balance to their boisterous singles run.
8. Chivalry (기사도) (1997)
A high-octane blast of aggressive techno beats and powerful refrains. Not quite as idiosyncratic as some of their similar-sounding title tracks, but addictive nonetheless.
7. School Byeolgok (학원별곡) (1997)
A heavy mix of offbeat rap and hard rock riffs. Though it may leave you wanting in the melody department, its incessant chant compensates by kicking its way into your memory.
6. Three Words (2016)
A modern reinvention of the group’s sound, positioning them as elder statesmen in YG Entertainment. (full review)
5. Reckless Love (무모한 사랑) (1998)
Marrying a trot melody to a 90’s high energy techno beat, Reckless Love stands as one of the group’s most anthemic offerings.
4. Road Fighter (1998)
Refining their chant-based song structure, Road Fighter adds a burst of pop melody that gives the track a refreshing bit of restraint before the break beat kicks in.
3. Couple (커플) (1998)
Featuring the group’s most enduring hook, Couple takes its cues from 90’s pop r&b. Its smooth, midtempo beat is quintessential boy band, in the best way possible, and has ensured incredible longevity.
2. The Way Of Man (Pom Saeng Pom Sa) (사나이 가는 길 – 폼생폼사) (1997)
One of the group’s most iconic tracks, with its ska-esque beat and pogoing hook. But even with everything else going on, it’s that surf guitar riff that sticks most memorably.
1. Com’ Back (1999)
Though it was never given an official music video, Com’ Back feels like the definitive Sechs Kies title track. Over a bombastic brew of guitar, sirens and pulsing electronic beats, the guys deliver a powerful, dramatic melody that finds like an all out assault, as well as a framework for much of modern k-pop.