Review

The Most Underrated K-Pop Song of All Time

Was the title of this review dramatic enough to get your attention?

I’m well aware that words like “…of all time” are only inviting pushback, and that the definition of “underrated” is completely subjective. Most artists and songs that get tagged with the “underrated” descriptor have in fact found a dedicated audience. Their fanbase may not be as large or vocal as others, but it’s still there.

In a completely different category, then, are those tracks that fly completely under the radar, so underrepresented that most K-pop fans don’t even know they exist.

That’s where we find Ask Her Out (고백해), by boy group Demion. I doubt whether many (if any) of my readers have heard this song. I’ve wanted to write about it since The Bias List’s inception, but I knew that something so obscure needed a bombastic title to get anyone interested in actually listening to the track. And while there are countless b-sides and title tracks that could rightfully be considered underrated, Ask Her Out has always felt like a would-be classic trapped by its lack of budget and name recognition.

The story of the song is all too familiar to K-pop fans. Released by a group who disbanded shortly after, composed by a team who only ever churned out a handful of songs, and given a bare-bones music video that looked more like a variety-show trailer, Ask Her Out was set up for failure before Demion even debuted. Its lack of attention isn’t surprising, even if the song itself is dynamite.

Ask Her Out was released in the fall of 2013, back when the chorus was still king. And boy, does it have a good one. In fact, the song leads with its hook, though piano subs in for percussion and the brassy production hasn’t yet exploded. This dramatic opening only serves to enhance the moment when the instrumental fully kicks in. Like my favorite K-pop song of all time (The Chaser), Ask Her Out’s chorus is underlined by gargantuan slabs of bright brass, ceremonial in their exuberance. A chugging, synth-fueled beat frames the verses, but it’s really just keeping time until that layered hook slams back in.

The melody here is fleshed out in a way so few are these days, rising and falling along a central theme but growing lengthier and more galvanizing as the song goes on. Additional instrumental hooks are brought in for the track’s climax, giving in the send-off it deserves. Demion’s performance was ultimately too generic to stand out, but their vocals sound assured nonetheless. It’s a shame we’d never hear from them again.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.5

~

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19 thoughts on “The Most Underrated K-Pop Song of All Time

  1. OMG, it’s great! Thanx for the review (I didn’t know it and I’ve just bought it on iTunes). 141K views on YouTube after 5 years… 😦
    Anyway, maybe in 5 years we’ll be talking about N.Tic’s Do You Know Who I Am? as the new “Most underrated KPop song of all time”, having it marked only 8K views.
    There are many charts around celebrating “most underrated songs”, but I guess we should build a list to find out some new hidden treasure…

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      • I haven’t seen N. tic’s song performed on any music shows either, which makes me wonder why they bothered releasing it at all. At least Demion did get to perform the song live a few times. Ugh… watching their live performance got me linked to other 2013 songs and now I’m feeling so nostalgic for the bombastic choruses and melodic structures. With 2017 riddled with trophouse and 2018 stuck with so many chorus drops in favor of synths and instrumentals, it really makes me miss old K-Pop.

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  2. Thank you so much for writing this! I was a fan of theirs way back then.. Nakhun trained with VIXX as part of Jellyfish and it’s a shame that his debut ended up this way. I still listen to this from time to time.

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  3. I love that song and have for so many years! The only reason I know about it is because one of the members was on Mydol to try to be a member of VIXX. Glad you love it too, its so up your alley of music taste.

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  4. I remember I was waiting for them to debut and when they released this song I listened to it non stop. it’s sad it ended up on an underrated song article because it is truly underrated.
    right when I clicked the video I sang along almost instantly!
    Thanks for writing the article not only for this song and the group but to start a movement on underrated songs. big groups overshadow the smaller ones, we need appreciatation for all music regardless of the group!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Omg I clicked randomly and guess what: You just made me discover an amazing sweetune influenced song omg thank so much !! I need more « sweetune alike » song in my life

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE that song, I discovered it a few years ago when I used to play a lot of guess the Kpop song games. it’s such a shame that the song is so underrated, it gives me the same vibes of So Crazy of AA ( that until today is my go-to karaoke song <3)

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