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.
I wouldn’t have expected it, but I am fully aboard the TXT train. I have an ingrained (almost subconscious) bias against heavily hyped artists — as if they have to deliver the most amazing music on earth to justify the buzz around them. Yet, even though the bar is not particularly high when it comes to 2019 title tracks, Crown is probably my favorite of the year so far. And while the group’s debut mini album is nothing innovative or surprising, it’s a solid example of the kind of upbeat pop music I’ve been missing.
A prime example of this is Our Summer, which offers an excellent spotlight for TXT’s bright vocals while delivering a shot of catchy melody. Yes, the production hinges on the kind of overused tropical elements I usually complain about, but they’re anchored by an addictive electro beat that brings in strong synth-pop influence. However, Summer’s trump card is its hypnotic chorus, which layers the guys’ vocals to gorgeous effect. It’s an incredibly simple melody, and functions in a similar way to the dreaded instrumental beat drop that could have easily formed the centerpiece to a song like this. Our Summer would be even stronger with a second, post-chorus refrain. The track almost feels too hesitant for its own good. But, that sense of dreamlike simplicity is an asset as well. In fact, I could see it eventually becoming TXT’s signature sound.