Most of the time, a kpop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-side tracks deserve recognition, too. In the singles-oriented world of kpop, I wanted to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
Though not as strong as their debut album, Lovelyz’ R U Ready is a solid, surprisingly diverse, rush of girl group pop. Along with new single WoW, the album is home to a pair of Sweetune-produced tracks (yay!), a handful of OnePiece compositions, and even a couple of songs by Woollim’s in-house team Rphabet, who are more well-known for their darker, hip-hop influenced work. Hide & Seek (숨바꼭질) comes at the tail end of the album, and isn’t quite as flashy as what comes before it. But as with any piece of pop music, all the bells and whistles in the world won’t mean a thing if the melody isn’t there.
Hide & Seek doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and that’s okay. Instead, it gives the group one of their stickiest melodies in years. I’m all for artistic growth, but Lovelyz pull off this kind of light, wistful pop perfectly. The song’s sentimental chorus sounds like it was lifted directly from their debut album. It’s a colorful swirl of strings, electric guitar and persistent pop beat that frames the girls’ sweet vocals with a fairy-tail backdrop. But more than anything, it’s that lush, melodically rich chorus that makes the strongest impression. There are shades of musical theater at work (maybe even Disney?), but in a way that plays to Lovelyz’ strengths as a group. Listeners looking for something edgy or new will likely roll their eyes, but every once and awhile you just need a dollop of good old sugary k-pop.