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.
When it comes to ballads, I love it when groups just throw all sense of subtlety to the wind and go for broke. BTOB‘s new single Missing You is pretty standard for the genre — sentimental and expected. Their new album is home to many other such ballads… perhaps a few too many, actually. But then there’s Finale, a song turned all the way up to eleven.
If you’re looking for a big, chest-beating sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs anthem, look no further. BTOB have long been known as a vocal group, but Finale truly takes advantage of that. The song kicks off with the kind of majestic synth riff that was a hallmark of so many 70’s and 80’s stadium power ballads, quickly joined by surges of electric guitar. The verses vacillate between a quieter, more pensive delivery and big, shout-along harmonic bursts. But this is all child’s play compared to the rush of a chorus, which opens the flood banks for a gargantuan-sized hook that layers the guys’ vocals in a forceful wave of pop music power. It’s all completely over the top, but that’s exactly how to approach a song like this. As the second part of the track’s title teases, Finale is a song written and produced for live performances. And just like the best concert experiences, it hits moments of pure musical euphoria.