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.
Gosh, K-pop’s delivered a lot of Run Aways this year, hasn’t it? Maybe idols are trying to send us subliminal messages or cries for help? Whatever the case may be, every Run Away has been solid to excellent, so I’m not complaining. You all know my weak spot when it comes to pop music is retro funk. I worship at the alter of Miss Janet Jackson, meaning a sinuous groove and feisty energy are always at the back of my mind. That’s why the chorus of GOT7’s You Calling My Name appeals to me so strongly. And that’s also what makes Run Away an album standout.
If I’m being completely objective, the song doesn’t really do anything special. But, it’s the rare chance for GOT7 to break free from the swaggy posing and moody angst that has characterized so much of their post-2016 work. Run Away heralds its intention with a funky bass guitar, soon joined by additional percussion that helps to establish an addictive rhythm. The melody remains nimble throughout, riding the groove with charismatic ease. The chorus is a bit repetitive, but it’s balanced by a standout pre-chorus that strips the instrumental back to its most potent elements. Best of all, there’s no blustering rap verse or skrrt skrrt diversions to dull Run Away’s energy. It’s simple and straightforward, and sometimes that’s all you want in a pop track.
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