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.
Teen Top’s new single Run Away begins to feel even more inconsequential when you hear the three tracks that immediately follow it on the album. Dear N9NE is a mostly upbeat affair, and a stronger body of work than I’d expected. The guys could have easily picked Your Man or What Do You Think for promotion, but I’m a sucker for Swag. Objectively, I realize that the song is nothing out of the ordinary. It’s generic funk-pop, wrapped up in a glossy package. But, I happen to have a weakness for this kind of bombastic groove, and the moment Swag’s chorus hit, I was sold.
Though I don’t immediately associate Teen Top with hip-hop, Swag gives the group’s leader (and now sole rapper) CAP some deserved spotlight. He brings an understated sense of cool to his verses, but the entire track harnesses the members’ personality with a sing-song arrangement that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It sounds like Teen Top is having a blast here, and that vibe is infectious. The song really comes alive when the percussion slams in for the chorus. This is the kind of uncomplicated, retro pop I associate with the summer, and would have made for an addictive (and crowd-pleasing) single.