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.
So far, I’ve found SF9’s album releases to be of varying quality. I wasn’t a fan of their debut, but loved the follow-up Burning Sensation. Despite a standout single, I didn’t think April’s Breaking Sensation was particularly strong. And now comes Knights Of The Sun, which is probably their most consistently fantastic album yet. The group can’t seem to capture my attention for two subsequent comebacks, but I’m optimistic that they’re moving in the right direction.
Though I’ll probably end up playing the boisterous Let’s Hang Out more often, I wanted to shine light on Just On My Way because I think it’s the more interesting of what I would consider Knights‘ two standouts. Before even listening to the song, I noticed a pair of production credits that instantly piqued my interest. One is Youngbae, of Iggy/Youngbae fame, whose name practically guarantees quality. The other is Aston Merrygold, member of X-Factor U.K. boy group JLS. I couldn’t imagine what would possibly result from collaborators as diverse as this, but what we get is a slinky slice of 80’s funk r&b that owes more than a bit of its sonic structure to Prince’s immortal synth jam Kiss. The production is delightfully retro — even lo-fi at times — and allows SF9 to display an understated sense of charisma. Its serpentine stomp amounts to more of a sweet trifle than a full-blown meal, but I love to hear the group branching out — especially when they pull this sound off so well.