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.
Despite being active in Japan for many years, Super Junior don’t have a very large J-pop footprint. Their solo and sub-unit releases (especially D&E) have been far more prolific within the industry. But this time around, they’ve saved all their best group material for the Japanese release of Korean single I Think I. Its accompanying mini album is rock solid all the way through.
When I heard Spotlight for the first time, I was immediately smitten. This is old-school electro funk in the vein of Chromeo (who themselves were in the vein of legends like Prince and Rick James). Once you hear that swinging synth line and fuzzy bass, it’s all over. Then the percussion hits, and it’s lively and funky in a way we don’t hear enough of these days. I could listen to this style of production all day long.
It also proves to be a great match for Super Junior, harnessing their personality and party-starting energy. And while the melody isn’t anything they haven’t given us before, I appreciate how the chorus takes a two-pronged approach rather than simply resting on a chant-like repetition of the song’s title. I enjoyed last year’s Super Clap quite a bit, but in many ways Spotlight feels like the fulfillment of that track’s promise. I’d like a full Super Junior album in this style, please.
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