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.
Gfriend’s Korean title track Sunrise also served as a Japanese single, with which their first original Japanese b-side was paired. This is probably a controversial to say, but I think La Pam Pam might actually be a bit stronger than Sunrise itself. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, though. The song was composed by MIO, who also produced two of my favorite GFriend b-sides (Flower Garden and Please Save My Earth). This team seems to have a perfect understanding of the sound that fits GFriend best: evocative, lyrical, and powerful when it needs to be.
The first few moments of La Pam Pam are absolutely divine. Eunha delivers a gorgeous solo that opens the track on a mysterious note. I don’t think the higher part of her register has ever been used this effectively before. The verse that follows is driven by strings, gradually building to a lengthy chorus that revisits the song’s introduction after weaving its way through a series of powerful refrains. La Pam Pam is probably too long-winded to act as a workable single, and I can definitely see why something like Sunrise was chosen instead. However, its lush production and resonant melody deserve equal spotlight.