Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides 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.
Listening to Seventeen’s new album for the first time, I wondered whether the success of iKON’s Love Scenario and Pentagon’s Shine steered the direction of their title track. Oh My is already growing on me, but if I were part of the decision making process, I would have lobbied for Holiday as the album’s lead single. It’s upbeat and summery, but sounds different enough from the group’s recent work to leave an impact. And, its refreshingly brisk tempo feels very indicative of the album as a whole.
Holiday does a solid job merging its more modern production elements with the group’s usual dose of guitar-led funk pop. Its opening verse feels a little all over the place, but soon streamlines into a more propulsive arrangement. After a subdued pre-chorus, the song finds its groove with a slinky hook that cleanly delivers one of the album’s most irresistible melodies. The post-chorus refrain is less catchy, but offers a nice rhythmic balance that connects Holiday’s many moving parts. The track gives off a sense of breeziness that’s perfectly attuned to these summer months, bringing to mind a trendier version of Seventeen’s own Healing. Holiday isn’t quite as effective a song, but its pop-minded heart is in the right place. They really do pull off this sound better than anyone else in K-pop right now, and that effortless skill should be enjoyed by as many listeners as possible.