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.
Over their relatively brief career, UP10TION have already dabbled in a multitude of genres — so much so that it’s sometimes hard to get a read on just what type of a group they’ll end up being. Their new mini album introduces yet another new sound in the form of the rocky, rollicking Stuck On You (빠져가지고). The song was co-composed by members of JYP rock group DAY6, and it clearly has their fingers all over it.
This collaboration is definitely unexpected, but in the best way possible. Mainstream rock music isn’t all that common in Korea, and doesn’t usually make it into idol groups’ repertoires in any major way. But from Stuck On You‘s guitar-driven opening, the track immediately embraces a stadium-like atmosphere. This being UP10TION, the more guitar-driven portions of the track are heavily augmented with electronics and hip-hop influences, but make no mistake, this is a rock track at heart. I absolutely adore the song’s brief pre-chorus, which drops the beat to focus solely on crunchy electric guitar and a brilliant turn of anthemic melody with a killer vocal from Hwanhee. I’m not sure that the hip-hop verses work quite as well, feeling a bit out of place and unnecessary when stacked against the rest of the track’s seamless pieces. But you can’t beat the freewheeling chorus and festival vibe, which takes full advantage of UP10TION’s large configuration of members.