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.
While SM Entertainment doesn’t always pick the right title tracks to promote an album (Exhibit A, Exhibit B), I think they did a good job with Girls’ Generation‘s latest. It helps that they had a few strong choices. Despite including one too many slow jams, Holiday Night exceeded my expectations. When it comes to Girls’ Generation, I’m much more inclined to play their debut-era singles than recent material. And for this reason, the throwback synth sparkle of Fan captured me instantly.
The song is written by one-woman powerhouse Kenzie, who has been an SM staple since the agency’s very first years. She’s proven herself capable of crafting a wide variety of genres while keeping the songwriting itself timeless and incredibly hooky. Fan opens with a lush synth arpeggio before sweeping right into the chorus. In essence, we start right at a moment of climax and then work ourselves back from there. It’s a brilliant technique, akin to a movie opening on one of its biggest action set-pieces. The chorus itself is a wonderful piece of throwback melody, half sung, half spoken in an anthemic burst of k-pop nostalgia. It’s a light, airy sound perfectly tailored to Girls’ Generation’s strengths as recording artists, even if their tenth anniversary has seen them move on to more varied sounds and styles.