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.
For a group that I don’t follow all that closely, I find myself continuously selecting SF9’s album tracks as buried treasures. Their discography has been incredibly diverse so far, which can be both a strength and a weakness. I’m still not quite clear on what the group’s signature sound is (or if they even have one), but I appreciate how their albums offer a sort of sampler platter of contrasting songs.
Unlimited hearkens back to the K-pop of a few years ago, fusing a huge electro wave to its dance template. Its verses retain the moodiness that seems to be in trend these days, but they make up a very small part of the overall track. I imagine it would have been tempting to let the stellar production speak for its self in the form of an instrumental drop, but Unlimited smartly overlays a chorus melody on top of the sweeping electronics. It’s not the catchiest of hooks, but the combined power definitely draws attention. It also gives the track a full, layered appeal that rewards repeated listens. I could see SF9 carving out a spot for themselves with this kind of multi-generational sound, updating K-pop’s past just enough to make it thrilling once again.