Buried Treasure: VIXX – Black Out

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 it didn’t seem to garner much hype, Dynamite was by far my favorite VIXX single of last year. It’s also their last title track that featured work from production team MELODESIGN. As consistent as VIXX’s general sound has been, they’ve actually worked with quite a few producers since their debut in 2012. But some matches are just meant to be, and VIXX + MELODESIGN is one of them.

Of the five tracks on the group’s newest mini album, Black Out is the only dance song. As VIXX has matured as a group, their output has seemed to grow more down-tempo and moody. Given this, it’s an absolute thrill to hear them working with the sound that launched them to stardom — even if it’s just for this one track. Co-produced by MELODESIGN, Black Out pulses with a near-constant bubble of electro bass, accented with rhythm guitar and sweeps of messy synth. I love how the verses supply much of the drama and bombast (unlike their newest title track), while the production in the chorus strips things back to focus wholly on the beat. It’s an engaging arrangement, made even more so by the guys’ charismatic performance. And while I can understand why it wasn’t chosen as a title track, I desperately want VIXX to revisit this sound for future promotions.

 Hooks  8
 Production  9
 Longevity 8
 Bias  9
 RATING  8.5

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