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.
Today, I’ve got a real buried treasure for you. Not that many people listened to or talked about AlphaBat’s great new single New World, but even less have thrown love at its b-side, Blockbuster. That’s a shame, because the song is stronger than most music released this month and would have made an excellent title track.
Produced by Inner Child from Monotree, Blockbuster grooves on an addictive synth bass riff. This percussive feature kicks off the track with a dark, slinky appeal before the first verse pushes things into 2013-era VIXX territory. A bright chorus compliments Blockbuster’s more sinuous elements, adding a dose of swinging 80’s funk. The entire song has a wonderful throwback atmosphere without feeling like pure novelty. And while the arrangement could do with a bit more unique personality, it’s comforting to hear a good old fashioned boy group track performed with polish and devoid of trends. Four or five years ago, this song may not have stood out at all. But in today’s K-pop age, this is the kind of sound I’m constantly seeking out.