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.
Dongwoo’s double title tracks split opinion on this site, but I’m very impressed with his debut solo mini album. I had expected a pretty generic, modern r&b sound, but what we got is far more varied. Dongwoo really takes equal advantage of his talents as a rapper and vocalist, skirting effortlessly between the two styles. The song that surprised me most comes during the album’s second half, where Dongwoo displays a heretofore unheard ability to deliver a blazing funk style.
That song is Perfect, and it unlocks new avenues for Dongwoo’s voice. Opening with a slab of funk synth, the track quickly blooms into its sticky blend of rhythm guitar and nimble percussion. But as compelling as this instrumental is, Dongwoo remains the driving force throughout Perfect’s run. His vocals take on a powerful, gritty tone as the song moves into its hard-hitting chorus, stretching his tone in an exciting way. Perfect is more about groove than melody, but this actually works in the song’s favor. Rather than build to a typical chorus, the track feels unrestrained from lockstep structure. It has a freewheeling energy, which matches Dongwoo’s bright personality. I would have loved to see this become the album’s main title track rather than the downbeat News.