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.
X1’s Flash seems to have been generally well-received, but most of us can agree that its non-chorus of a chorus is a bit of a buzz kill. These are the times when I wish we could Frankenstein a couple of songs together, because album track Like Always (웃을 때 제일 예뻐) has the kind of chorus a big Produce-related debut sorely needs.
Like Always is co-composed by Jeong Ho-Hyun of production team e.one. This is the same guy responsible for Dongkiz’s BlockBuster, The Boyz’ Clover and Soya’s Artist, among many other quality tracks. I really wish that more agencies would enlist e.one for boy group title tracks, rather than relegate them to b-sides. There’s an idiosyncrasy to these songs — trendy but fresh. In Like Always’ case, the verses leave me a little cold but the chorus is absolutely galvanizing. Its breakneck pace and full-fledged melody feels refreshing, like a true centerpiece rather than a hollow drop. Graft it onto Flash’s standout verses and you might just have the best Produce debut track of all time. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Even so, I hope that Always’ upbeat sound acts as a road map for this group’s burgeoning discography.
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