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.
UP10TION’s latest single album may only be two tracks long, but both are so strong that they completely eclipse the forgettable STAR;DOM mini that the group released in June. Mid-tempos aren’t what I would usually consider “buried treasure,” because most tend not to draw attention to themselves. Instead, these kind of tracks offer necessary breathing space between bigger album highlights. But Come Back To Me instantly drew me in, thanks to its perfect pop melody and gorgeous harmonies.
If you would have told me that Sweetune produced this track, I would have believed you. It has that same glossy polish to it, hearkening back to the 80’s without sounding overly indebted to the era. The melody retains a sense of classic songcraft, surging in all the right places and built around a quirky hook that feels more like a tease as the vocals engage in a constant, playful climb. But Come Back To Me‘s knockout punch comes in the form of the vocal harmonies that round out each chorus. The best pop music manages to squeeze a lot from a little, and the restrained ad-libs here pack just enough power to leave you begging for more. It’s a brilliant use of vocal layering, and an example of how one little production touch can utterly transform a song.