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.
Seventeen’s new album is primarily a downbeat affair, which matches the winter season even if it doesn’t strongly harness the group’s most potent charms. As any longtime reader of the Bias List knows, I’m not a huge fan of down-tempo material. Seventeen can usually make it interesting, but it’s still not my preferred style. Luckily, we can always rely on the guys’ performance unit to bring the bangers. I wouldn’t necessarily call Shhh an instant highlight within Seventeen’s discography, but it definitely stands out among You Made My Dawn’s moodier album tracks.
Shhh flirts with current trends before shredding them apart. It’s a fitful piece of music, never content with one tempo or sound. One moment, it’s cruising on catwalk-ready deep house beats, the next it’s awash in layers of future bass synths. Throughout all of this texture shifting, the song is at its best when it feels the biggest. Its chorus brings in a mighty electronic thump that provides a needed centerpiece for the entire instrumental. Sometimes I wish the track would just find a groove and settle on it, but then I remember that this tonal complexity is likely to be improved upon tenfold when paired with an equally dynamic choreography. One thing’s for sure: Shhh is never boring. And on an album that too often conforms to expected boy group sounds, that’s a huge plus.