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 want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
If you’ve seen my top three songs of March, you’ll already know how much Pentagon’s Sha La La has grown on me. It already feels like a real dark horse when it comes to 2019 releases, and my brewing obsession with the track has led me to give the group’s newest mini album repeat plays. Though their style of music is very different, Pentagon feel a lot like Bias List fave B1A4 in that they have two powerhouse songwriters on their team. Also like B1A4, leader Hui seems destined to take care of the title tracks while Kino dabbles in more varied b-side material. This balance has worked wonders so far, but I hope Kino’s compositions gain more attention because they’re really quite good.
Spring Snow is an excellent example, and pulls Pentagon’s sound in new directions. It’s a straight-up rock track as seen through the prism of boy band K-pop. Other groups have done this before, but rarely with as much flair. The song triggered my nostalgia immediately, as it reminds me of late-90’s rock — home to big, rollicking choruses and loads of energy. The guys manage to bring hip-hop into the mix, but rarely at the expense of the track’s guitar-fueled sound. There’s a punky edge to both the instrumental and vocals, which makes for an exciting blend with the highly polished performance. It all climaxes in a round of layered power notes that takes full advantage of Pentagon’s underrated vocal line. If we’re lucky, Spring Snow will be the first in a long line of rock-tinged album tracks from the group. Fingers crossed.