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.
GFriend songs have a way of growing on me, and even though Summer Rain was not at all what I wanted from them, I’m sure it’ll end up in heavy rotation anyways. If I’m honest, much of this is due to Yuju’s vocals. She has one of my favorite tones in k-pop, and could elevate just about anything. But as solid as she sounds on Rain, the group’s repackage should have been promoted with its second new track, the insanely catchy, relentlessly cheesy Rainbow.
GFriend’s music has often been compared to anime themes, and Rainbow uses that sound as a starting point. From its opening blend of dramatic piano and electric guitar bombast, the girls veer closer to j-pop than ever before. Thankfully, the song jettisons any high-pitched hyperactivity for a lush melody and anthemic chorus. Lame English lyrics aside, Rainbow is built around the sort of hook that is hard to find in 2017 k-pop — a snowballing refrain that incorporates multiple melody lines into a cohesive, sustained chorus. I especially love the raised note right before this segment, propelling us into the rousing key change. The song was composed by a team of foreign writers, and arranged by relative newcomer Fuxxy. I’ve been a strong supporter of GFriend staying with the Iggy/Youngbae duo who forged their sound so successfully, but after the last couple of comebacks, I’m beginning to think that the girls might do well branching out. Rainbow is a compelling case for new producers taking the group’s existing strengths and fleshing them out. I would love if this became the template for the next few title tracks.