Buried Treasure: Teen Top – Swag

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.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9


3 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Teen Top – Swag

  1. If Kool and the Gang wrote for kpop, they would write this song.

    This song is hellalotta fun. I love the gimme that (x5) parts, I love the post chorus oooh oooh oooh (very high pitched) swag!
    This would be good live, especially if they ad lib and the dance had liberal disco points.


  2. Hmm.. ..this song makes me think they could change their name to something like:
    – KSYNK?
    – New Teens On The Block?
    – Samseong-dong-street Boys?

    The 90’s vibe is strong with this one, padawan. Like, or like not, there is no fence sitting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.