Review

Buried Treasure: Everglow – You Don’t Know Me

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.


To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of the post-BLACKPINK brand of “edgy” girl groups. They tend to adopt some the musical traits I usually complain about when it comes to their male counterparts. I think there’s a way to be edgy and melodic at the same time, but most of the songs of this sub-genre sacrifice melody for badassery. With this in mind, Everglow’s Adios is more successful than most. At least it’s got a big, energetic drop. However, I’m finding myself more smitten with the song that immediately follows it on the girls’ new single album.

You Don’t Know Me feels like the single Red Velvet might have released right after Red Flavor. It has the same carnival-like energy, anchored by the gorgeous burst of harmonies that opens the track. This flourish doesn’t turn out to be You Don’t Know Me’s actual chorus, but that’s okay. It’s best used sparingly, anyway. Most of the track bops on a chugging dancehall-as-heard-though-the-prism-of-K-pop beat that keeps the energy high. Its titular hook is a catchy little chant, echoed by warm synth lines before culminating in those sweeping harmonies. This stop/start structure gives interesting movement to a song that could have easily gotten mired in its otherwise straightforward rhythm. I know that Everglow are aiming for a more aggressive sound, but this would have made a great summer single.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

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5 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Everglow – You Don’t Know Me

  1. YES! Exactly my sentiments! Idk if BP is to blame for this on the girl group side (they’re definitely influential) but this insistence on swagger over songcraft has made recent K-Pop a chore to listen to. And it feels that if it’s not so needlessly moody and dour it’s just… languid as hell. Meh.

    Not to be me but A.C.E. and Dreamcatcher are the two groups I immediately think of when you say “edgy but melodic” and honestly more groups could take a page from their book

    Liked by 1 person

    • About the song, it’s better than the title (which strikes me as hopeless KTL cosplay, and I don’t like KTL) but it still has the same problem as their debut–they repeat an otherwise decent (but not great) melody ad nauseam until you just want to stop the song before its actual end. Eh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it sounds like a competent B-side, with not a lot of energy. The vocals to me sound very processed and, unlike Red Velvet, are not entirely all sung harmonies.

    One other thing, related but not specific to Everglow per se. So many girl groups “dances” really are change positions, wave arms, change, pose, wave arms, form the triangle wedge, wave arms, move, horizontal line up, wave arms, do something cute with the feet, vertical line up, “creative” way to break up the line, wave arms, and etc. This one’s dance follows that, just like so many others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I purchased the Hush EP when Adios dropped and instantly had the same “Red Velvet” vibe when this track started playing. I think all of the production houses are constantly producing music, which they then offer to the top agencies/artists, and if they don’t bite, then this material gets seeded to lesser acts. When I hear a song like this (which I really like), then I wonder who passed on it; in this case, Red Velvet is probably a good guess.

    Still, Everglow brought it to the table, so they get the kudos!

    Like

  4. Really? Damn. Didn’t expect you to like it tbh but that was probably just because I didn’t either. I really didn’t like the chorus melody and that ruined the whole song for me.

    Like

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