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.
There are few things I love more than a solid K-pop summer album. Some quintessential examples from the past five years are Red Velvet’s The Red Summer, B1A4’s Solo Day and Astro’s Dream Pt.01 (though that last one was technically released during mid-spring). But now, I think I can add Cosmic Girls’ just-released For The Summer to that list. The mini album is wall-to-wall bangers – all killer, no filler upbeat summer fare. I could have featured any track as a buried treasure (My Type’s explosive funk backbone definitely deserves attention), but I had to choose Oh My Summer, which is anchored by the album’s strongest chorus.
As much as I enjoy title track Boogie Up, the song suffers from its lack of a distinctive hook. Its instrumental is irresistible, but a killer melody would have brought it up to a ‘9’ rating. That’s where Oh My Summer comes in. Underlined by a buoyant brass-kissed beat, the song’s chorus is a call-to-arms for a good time. Its anthemic refrain crashes in like a refreshing wave, hearkening back to those great K-pop summer tracks of years past. The verses are less memorable, but keep the energy flowing with a mixture of rhythmic phrasing and surprisingly sticky rap. Nothing about Oh My Summer pushes any boundaries, but that’s not what a populist pop hit like this needs to do. This is the sound of beach-side parties and sweltering afternoons.