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.
Overall, I like The Boyz’ new single Bloom Bloom. But, my biggest gripe with the song is its vocal arrangement. When combined with the repetitiveness of the chorus, it can border on shrill at times. This isn’t enough to totally upend the track, but it does feel like a missed opportunity. I see why their agency chose to promote Bloom (it’s catchy as hell, after all). However, b-side Clover would have been a more interesting choice while still retaining their springtime concept.
Clover is produced by Jung Ho Hyun of production team e.one, and that alone should be enough of an endorsement. Boy groups rarely choose e.one-produced songs as singles, and that needs to change. Like Sweetune, e.one has a skill for arranging vocals. Compared to Bloom‘s incessant high pitch, Clover‘s performance is layered and multi-dimensional. The song itself has a throwback appeal — bright but not cloying. Its opening verse is largely set-up, climaxing with a sucker-punch of a chorus that knows just how to play with percussion for maximum effect. There’s a sense of sustained momentum throughout, buoyed by a chugging instrumental and gorgeous blasts of vocal harmony. Clover‘s central hook isn’t as instantly engaging as Bloom‘s, but it feels earned and — ultimately — more satisfying. Something like this could have easily been recorded by a girl group like April or Oh My Girl, but Clover‘s dreamy aesthetic proves to be a perfect match for The Boyz as well.