Review

Buried Treasure: Dreamcatcher – Silent Night

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.


While I like and appreciate Dreamcatcher’s rock-infused sound, my favorite tracks from the group tend to go a little left-of-center. K-pop thrives on blending different elements together, and their music is at its best when it feels unpredictable. I missed the boat on featuring 2017’s excellent Sleep Walking as a buried treasure, but new album track Silent Night gives me a chance to make up for that oversight.

I really want Dreamcatcher to release a title track that sounds like this. Distorted electronics take the place of guitars, providing a unique soundscape that retains the trademark Dreamcatcher energy but stands apart from most everyone else in the industry. It has an icy, aloof appeal — highlighted by tense strings and shifting tempos. Silent Night uses dynamics to its advantage, surging forward and pulling back in equal measure. This allows the track plenty of time to breathe, and gives each individual segment its own spotlight.

This all culminates in a commanding psytrance climax, which echoes similar 2019 work by acts like Stray Kids and Hyoyeon. If anyone is poised to capitalize on this burgeoning trend, it’s a group like Dreamcatcher. Used sparingly, this instrumental flourish packs a wallop and gives Silent Night the epic conclusion it deserves.

 Hooks 8
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

 

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30 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Dreamcatcher – Silent Night

  1. I’m not so sure I ever want Dreamcatcher to release anything other than rock as a featured track, as it’s something of their calling card, but you are right that they could pull off something this experimental as a single. So glad you appreciate this track!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. K-Pop is already an amalgamate of different styles, and it gets even more diverse when you start fusing specific genres. For example, K-Pop + Rock can go in many different directions. Not from the K-Pop side (which non-genre specific), but from the Rock side.

    While Rock is specific, it has many offshoots such as Grunge, Metal, Classic, et al. One of my favorite twists Rock music takes is when keyboards are added because it can take the genre in extremely different directions. Compare Tom Scholz (Boston’s church organ sound) with Ray Manzarek (Door’s analog synths), or Rick Wakeman, or Elton John, or Gregg Allman, or Richard Wright, etc., and you’ll get vastly different versions of Rock; but all of them phenomenal.

    Then there’s a direction of Rock with keyboards that I feel is sadly underpopulated; specifically, Rock and synth-pop. This song (Silent Night) is a stunning example of that fusion done right. …AND it’s K-pop. It has a Rock core with generous dollop of synth-pop keys (Imogen Heap’esque) and Dreamcatcher vocals. Win/Win/Win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had to ponder this, but I think you are correct that synth driven rock, where the construction of the song is driven by the synth or keys and not just the synth/keys as another instrument, is much rarer. It really depended on who was writing the songs – the guitar, keys, vocal, or someone else.
      A few others come to mind
      Genesis (early mid and late)
      Journey
      Asia
      ELP Emerson Lake Palmer

      And honorable mention of Van Halen when Eddie would swap guitar for synth, i.e. “Dreams” “Jump” “Love Walks in”.

      That said, mho I dont think of dreamcatcher as rock, but as kpop with a rock instrumental flair. If it floats your boat and fills your rock need, fine by me. Too bad we all live so far apart and cannot discuss over beverages. (12 beverages in, bu whai wai we have not yett agreeeeeed “wat is rahk”)

      Liked by 1 person

      • It doesn’t fill my rock need; per se. It does fill a need for Rock + synth-pop because the music is fantastic. Adding Dreamcatcher vocals is the cherry on top. No single song is going to fulfill my need for any genre.

        I still listen to the classics. Rick Wakeman’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”, Genesis’ “Selling England by the Pound” (“I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” is one my all-time faves), Jethro Tull’s “Think As A Brick” (yes, the flute is wonderful, but those lush keyboards…), et al. A few days ago I was listening to Joe Satriani’s “Surfing with the Alien” (I know, not keyboard related, but still). The point is.. ..well.. ..I listen to a lot of things. I’ll always have a love of rock as that is what filled my earliest years listening to music. From Rock, I went in virtually every direction; both backward and forward through time. From Django Reinhardt to.. ..Dreamcatcher, I guess.

        Point is, I love pretty much all music. I may gush about one particular song, but I never think that one specific song is the “holy grail” of music so my search is over. I never have to listen to a different song again. In real life, I only have one scale of measurement when weighing the value of any song; do I want to listen to it now, or later. If the answer is “neither”, then it must be IZ-ONE’s “Vampire”.

        Like

          • God, I miss New Wave… ..BEF/Heaven 17, Haircut 100, New Order, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Ultravox, Tom Tom Club, Eurythmics, XTC, The Specials/Fun Boy Three/Bananarama, Madness, Split Enz, The Jam, Oingo Boingo, Bow Wow Wow, etc., etc., etc.. What a marvel those years were. You never knew what was going to come out or what direction it was going to take you but the trip was worth it almost every time.

            Then there were the really “out there” artists that took you into directions you didn’t know existed. The Residents, Tuxedomoon, Nina Hagen, Snakefinger, Matt Johnson, Pere Ubu, Yello, etc..

            Ahhh.. ..the age when even your neighbor could release music without the shackles of a big record company or the boot of an agent on your neck telling what you “can’t” do. Anything was possible and everything was on the table and the world became a melodic sandbox for eccentricity and Radio Shack studio production. {holds hanky up to corner of eye}

            Like

            • Popped into this review to see what had inflated the comments so much… I think I’ve figured it out! This is an absolute mobile nightmare. I’m getting three characters to a line this deep in the thread.

              I’m honestly a little jealous that I missed this part of music history. I do believe that you can find any type of music if you know where to look, but what you’re describing here sounds downright magical. I’m not exactly age 12, but I grew up burning CDs with my dad and watching all my friends get the first iPhones in middle school. I never really got to experience this era that you’re talking about.

              Liked by 1 person

          • An afterthought, you know.. ..a lot of record companies/music production houses deserve a lot of credit for the New Wave/Experimental Music phase the world got to enjoy. Third Mind, I.R.S., Touch, 4AD, Ralph, (and many more). They didn’t care if a release was going to sell 1 copy or a million. It was created.. ..it was offered.

            I remember perusing catalogs printed on cheap pulp paper with mismatched typesetting trying to find diamonds in the rough, or flipping through spinach bins for anything that was going to pop out and give me the modern day “take my money” vibe. There was a deluge of vastly different offerings.

            What a grand time if you had patience (because many things needed a safari-like effort to track down) and an open mind (because you were going to discover things in the wild that you never knew you wanted).

            Like

    • Yes. Ollounder and Leez are an incredible songwriting team, and while Dreamcatcher releases have generally been solid regardless of who’s at the helm (one of my top tracks, Fly High, is a Seion production), this kind of reliability is reassuring.

      I don’t know if I’d’ve preferred this to Deja Vu as a title (as Deja Vu is more in line with their usual sound and I actually really love the song) but it’s definitely an excellent track and at par with the best of this year’s titles.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is probably the first time ever a Buried Treasure has gotten more comments than the actual title track. Props to MYMAGOOGLE and XENOTERRAN!

    I love this song. I love Dreamcatcher. I also happened to love Deja Vu. I’ll write something a bit more detailed when I have time, because now I have to stop procrastinating my work.

    I agree completely with this review, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

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