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.
One of the biggest issues I’ve had with much of Twice’s music is that their arrangements force their voices into sharp tones that can easily grate. I don’t think the girls themselves are to blame. They’ll never be known as a powerhouse vocalist group, and that’s fine. But, they’re definitely polished and capable of a more nuanced approach.
Songs like Sunset prove the potential hiding just beneath the traditional Twice concept. It takes on an 80’s aesthetic, which will always appeal to my taste, but beyond that it does a solid job drawing the best from the group’s vocals. Avoiding the temptation to smother the track in Kidz Bop-esque chanting, Sunset opts for a more refined melody that draws heavily on falsetto for a sun-kissed vibe that would have been perfect for summer. The first two lines of the chorus are especially gorgeous, delivered by Nayeon with an engaging confidence. The entire instrumental is buttressed by shimmering synths that give Sunset a wistful, dreamlike vibe. In so many ways, it’s the antidote to the group’s bubblier material. I’d love to see them go down this route for a future title track and really prove that they can pull off multiple styles.
Pair this song with AOA’s 10 Seconds for an explosion of blissed-out 80’s synth-pop.