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.
NCT 127’s Cherry Bomb has already grown on me quite a lot since I reviewed it, but I still crave more melodic material when it comes to the group’s title tracks. Luckily, the mini album itself does a much better job highlighting the team’s vocalists. When considering which track to spotlight as a Buried Treasure, I went back and forth between the smooth dance pop of 0 Mile and Summer 127. But this being the first full day of the summer season, I had to go for the latter.
Many have already compared Summer 127 to Shinee‘s View, and the two definitely share similarities. The track bops on a nimble 90’s club beat, highlighted by an elastic electro bass that’s punctuated by piano and sweeping synths. Up until its climax, the song is entirely pop-minded, taking a classic summertime melody and polishing it up with a modern arrangement. But when rappers Taeyong and Mark finally do come in, the track absolutely soars. Rather than overtake the entire song, their undeniable charisma is reserved for Summer‘s knockout punch. The middle eight rap verses are spectacular, bolstered by an intensified instrumental that gives them a chance to let loose rather than be constrained by a need to look “cool” or “cutting edge.” Summer 127 is a dynamite party track, released just at the time of the year when we need one most.