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.
Perhaps my favorite aspect about SuperM’s mini album is that it feels distinctly SM, down to the producers and composers selected to craft the music. Rather than twist themselves to fit within the American music market, it’s like Lee Soo Man decided he wanted to show the world what SM Entertainment history was all about — warts and all.
While lead single Jopping fits firmly within the agency’s self-created SMP genre, I Can’t Stand The Rain tugs in new directions. My eyes lit up when I saw that the song was a collaboration between legendary producers Kenzie and Thomas Troelsen, each of whom are responsible for some of my favorite K-pop tracks ever.
I can’t even tell you how refreshing I find Rain’s percussion. In a K-pop world that’s flush with trap, EDM and tropical, the big drums here feel so vital and exciting. The track plays like a piece of theater, fusing traditional instrumentation with an arrangement designed for visual performance. The balance between rap and vocals is much better than Jopping, and the song takes fuller advantage of the members’ individual talents. Baekhyun’s vocals get plenty of spotlight, delivered in a high register that works surprisingly well during the chorus. Taemin is even more entrancing during the bridge, which builds to a stirring blend of drum beats and chanted backing vocals.
I’ve seen more people raving about the (also solid) album track 2 Fast, but I’m all about Rain’s big, bombastic drama. SuperM’s unique configuration gives them license to go over the top in a way that few other K-pop groups would. I Can’t Stand The Rain takes this freedom and runs with it.
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