Review

Buried Treasure: Astro – Somebody Like

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!

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

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6 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Astro – Somebody Like

  1. There they are!

    I feel like, vocally, you can’t ask for a configuration better than Astro’s. Everyone’s vocal color is so distinct and they do well in matching the music style with their voices. None of them are who my mind would jump to for “best male vocalist in K-Pop”, but they are incredibly consistent and strong in a way that I also think is sort of understated. It’s a good example of a group that’s really strong and well-rounded vocally without having one person get all the attention.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That chorus! Somebody Like is easily the best song on the album for me and can’t wait to see it live. This track has a really fresh feel and is well rounded overall. Its paced very well and the structured does help. The “Somebody Like,” refrain is fun without being overly cute. The piano and the snaps in the pre-chorus do add a great effect. Everyone’s voices mix well and are satisfying to listen to.
    Rating: Solid 9

    Also I’m not sure if Stray Kids’ tracks will get music videos. They’re part of an anime so I think they’ll stay that way. As for future plans Stray Kids said they’ll release their first album in 2020. Hopefully these can be b-sides or be given a performance in their comeback.

    Also its looking like Nu’est and Day6 are about to release some strong albums tomorrow

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Now this is what I’ ve missed from Astro! I enjoy MJs voice a lot especially and am very thankful that chorus- if only something like this wouldve been their title track.

    Like

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