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.
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