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.
Honestly, it’s been pretty awesome that I’ve gotten to write about new Sweetune-produced tracks for three weeks in a row. 2018’s certainly off to a great start in that regard. If you were somewhat hesitant about Target’s Korean debut last week (as I was), do yourself a favor and take a listen to the incredible Tempest. This song has actually been floating around since last spring. It even received a limited physical release. But few had heard it before now.
Sweetune’s music is instantly recognizable, and Tempest stands as a sterling example of their trademark 80’s sound. Awake cast the guys as a hip-hop driven pop group, but here they’re whisked straight to the dance floor as they deliver a powerful performance over an unrelenting electronic beat. Everything we’ve come to expect from Sweetune is here — layered vocals, a propulsive, densely arranged instrumental, and hook after hook. The track has an undeniably retro bent, with its chirpy background vocals and anthemic surges of synth, and would have made a nice follow-up to Snuper’s similarly-pitched Platonic Love. Target themselves come off slightly more generic here than they did on Awake (which was likely the reason this wasn’t chosen as their title track), but the song itself is infinitely stronger.