With over 2,600 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2014
Though they wouldn’t break through internationally until the following year, the seeds for BTS’s mega stardom were laid in 2014. To tell the truth, I didn’t pay much attention to them during their debut year. Their sound was much more hip-hop than K-pop, but 2014 ushered in a strong rock influence that began to make them stand out. Danger arrived just as their seminal variety series, American Hustle Life, was airing, and capitalized on the success of Boy In Love with an even stickier, guitar-assisted groove. It was during this promotion (and their War Of Hormone follow-up), that BTS’s charisma really started to stick out to me.
Danger’s nimble percussion approximates the kind of fluidity found in beatboxing, augmented with seesawing synth effects and jolts of electric guitar. It’s not an overly complex brew, but it propels forward at every turn, giving the song incredible (and sustained) energy. It’s also a perfect match for the track’s hip-hop verses, which pulse with a kind of spontaneity that still feels fresh today. The hook is deceptively simple — more a series of vocal riffs than a full-fledged chorus, but by mirroring the sharpness of the instrumental it harnesses a sense of punchy efficiency that leaves you wanting more. I love the call-and-response nature of Danger’s refrain, moving between lower and higher pitches as the frenzied guitar squeals behind the vocals. It all comes together to create a potent hip-hop/dance track without an ounce of fat on its bones.
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