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.
I was thinking about it the other day, and realized that I haven’t given a 9+ rating to a YG song since June of 2017. Unfortunately, I’m just not enamored with the agency the way I once was. I don’t think their current crop of in-house songwriters are all that great, and none of their new gen artists have clicked with me in the way that Bigbang and 2NE1 did. YG’s output has become quite predictable over the past few years. They’re in need of a shot in the arm. None of the tracks on Winner’s latest album are going to change this pattern, but a song like Mola (몰라도너무몰라) hints at new sounds that should be explored further.
I like that Mola never really lets up. It kicks off with a high tempo, and that continues throughout the entire track. The thundering drum beat is almost metal in execution, though tethered to a bright synth-pop beat. The instrumental drop (usually a low point in these kinds of songs) is powered by inverted electronics that send the track spiraling in disorienting directions. The melody is a bit one note, peppered with rapid-fire repetitions of the titular phrase. The song could do with a more fleshed out hook, but by keeping the energy high and the pace brisk, Winner don’t give you much chance to dwell on Mola’s shortcomings. I would love to see how this would have fared as a title track. Ah Yeah is definitely the safe option, but the last thing YG Entertainment needs at the moment is safe.