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.
Much of Astro’s new mini album (including its decent but unspectacular title track) is too mundane for a group of their considerable charm, but there are a few bright spots. It’s nice to hear the guys’ vocals on the classic boyband ballad We Still, but dance track Somebody Like more closely embraces the sound I want to hear from Astro.
Leave the moody, mid-tempo tracks for the fall and winter. We’re about to head into summer, which means its time for upbeat, energetic fare. Somebody Like isn’t nearly as great as the group’s 2016/17 run, but it’ll get the job done.
Right from the start, the track hits us with funky guitar and kicking percussion. The added piano is a nice, unexpected addition, but Somebody Like mostly plays things as you’d expect. Its central hook hinges on a buoyant chant that’s instantly memorable, but the twisty chorus that precedes it is even better. MJ is a great main vocal, capable of bringing a tangible sense of joy to material like this. I love his segments here. I also love how straightforward the overall arrangement is. It would have been tempting to shoehorn any number of unnecessary musical diversions into the verses, but Somebody Like remains breezy and assured all the way through. I hope we’ll hear more of this energy as we move out of spring. K-pop boy groups have been angsty and depressed for too long!
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