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.
As much as I’ve enjoyed many of EXID’s past singles, none of their mini or full albums have fully captured my attention from start to finish. But that changes with this month’s Full Moon. It opens with a dynamite title track, but the five b-sides that follow do a spectacular job highlighting the strengths of the group and its individual members.
Park Jeonghwa doesn’t have the most powerful or versatile singing voice, but the addictive deep house of Alice provides the perfect playground for her uniquely airy tone. This sub-genre of dance music has been ubiquitous over the past couple of years, and runs the risk of feeling stale. The lurching, future bass inspired tempo shifts that pepper the verses certainly don’t help. And yet, Alice is more than the sum of its parts. The track has some wonderfully quirky vocal moments, but just as it threatens to go off the rail into artsy-fartsy indulgence, that ridiculously catchy chorus comes back to tie it all together. In some ways, the song feels like what IU might release if she let her hair down and made a beeline for the dance floor. It’s a fantastic, fascinating mash-up of very different producers. On one hand, you’ve got Shinsadong Tiger representing for the mainstream, and in the opposite corner you have Pinkmoon bringing an indie flavor.