Most of the time, a k-pop 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 k-pop, I wanted to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
I don’t often feature OST releases as buried treasures because, quite frankly, they’re usually pretty boring. But I do try to keep my eye out for the selections performed by big name acts. As part of the new drama A Korean Odyssey, Nu’est W have been recruited for Let Me Out. The song is definitely not a ballad, which already bodes well for its lasting appeal.
Despite giving Nu’est W’s Where You At a lackluster response back in October, the song has grown on me quite a bit. Their resurgence as a force in k-pop has been one of the year’s happiest stories, affording them the opportunity to participate in songs like this. Let Me Out is wonderfully old-school in that classic k-pop sense, drawing from untrendy genres like rock and dubstep. This is a sound I miss greatly, and it’s thrilling to hear the guys take the reigns of such a dynamic track. The song’s aggressive opening verse sets the scene for a wonderfully anthemic chorus before pulling back to an ultra-spare, haunting second verse. It all climaxes in a blend of rap and electric guitar that feels suitably theatrical. It would have made a wonderful addition to their solid W, Here mini album, and offers a glimpse of a style I hope they embrace further in 2018.