Review

Buried Treasure: DAY6 – Love Me Or Leave Me

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.


As usual, DAY6’s new album is far more exciting and adventurous than its title track would suggest. This has been a pattern with the group, which is both comforting and frustrating. I pretty much know I’m going to enjoy a DAY6 album, yet I wish tracks as awesome as Deep In Love and Emergency could have been promoted so that others could enjoy them. (Plus, I just really want a super high-octane 80’s music video for Deep In Love).

The Book of Us: The Demon includes another 80’s-indebted track (1 to 10), which would be my other buried treasure from the album. But, I’ve decided to feature Love Me Or Leave Me in its place. With every DAY6 album, I look for the track that pushes them in new directions. Love Me doesn’t necessarily unveil any sonic elements we haven’t yet heard from the guys, but the song’s construction and delivery feel novel.

Great pop songs unveil gradually, but not in the way most 2020 K-pop has. Too many current tracks settle for one interesting element and surround it with aimless aural posturing that does little to enhance the overall package. Love Me Or Leave Me has three solid pieces, and they work in tandem. Its restrained verses are the least impressive, but their tight, melodic structure keeps you perched for what’s to come. Next, we have the song’s galvanizing chorus, which quickly gains steam with a knockout melody and full-throated vocal arrangement that feels very timeless. Following this segment, the percussion intensifies for a raucous post-chorus refrain that incorporates just the right amount of electronic influence. It all fuses together to create a song that’s satisfying and cohesive all the way through. That may sound like faint praise, but in 2020 it’s a minor miracle.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.75

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

14 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: DAY6 – Love Me Or Leave Me

  1. As soon as I got the notification that the buried treasure for Love Me or Leave Me was out I went straight to the polls and gave it a nine. Personally this song has the boldness I look for in songs. It has an insane chorus that slaps you straight in the face and never stops. This chorus repeats three times without much variation but somehow never gets old. There’s just something priceless about the perfectly timed drums hitting really hard on top of that great synth. To me this song is just a wonder and I’m so glad Day6 remain a reliable source of good music.

    Also shout out to the chorus of Stop and the post-chorus of Afraid

    Liked by 1 person

    • That chorus – I know! They added a few stadium crowd noises right at the right points. Its like it swells to be a rave. The drummer is really kicking it too. The song also shows off the high tenor skillz Day6 has.

      Great song. Should have been double A side. Back in the day, kpop used to promote more than one single off albums. This album would be a fine case for that.

      I think STOP is my next favorite, although sonically it is broadly similar to Love Me or Leave Me. 1 to 10 sounds like a Mister Mister b-side, or at times like Glass Tiger.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Quick Question:
        I’ve been listening to quite a few albums lately and have noticed that groups pick a single and fill the album with mush. In your opinion, what would be one album that is filled with great tracks aside from the single.

        And great pick for second favorite. I remember listening to Stop for the first time and my mind immedietely went to Deep In Love. Today when I listened to Stop I thought it would be great for a spy movie.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have already recommended AkMu (Akdong Musician) “Sailing” once this week, so I may as well recommend it again. To me it is more what I would call American roots music or back porch music that happens to be in Korean, so it isn’t really pop music per se. It is a great album in any language. You can preview on youtube to see if you like it as much as I do.

          The brother writes all of their songs. He wrote this album while doing his mandatory service in the Korean Marines, as one does. He was stationed on a ship (hence “Sailing”), and they don’t allow private diaries in that service. So he would compose the songs for this album in his head in his bunk. On his one allowed monthly call to his sister, he would sing them to her while she was recording them on a second cell phone.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Dreamcatcher’s Dystopia: The Tree of Language is probably my favorite album this year, and is probably my favorite thing they’ve ever done, period. Honestly I’m a huge fan of Dreamcatcher so this may be due to bias, but Ollounder/LEEZ producing pretty much everything makes it cohesive and diverse at the same time. Full albums don’t usually captivate me the way minis do, because they can feel a bit unfocused at times, but this one is impeccably paced and full of great songwriting.

          Like

        • I always say that my top three all-killer, no-filler K-pop albums are:

          Infinite – Season 2/Be Back
          Wonder Girls – Reboot
          SHINee – The Misconceptions of Us

          That’s just full albums, mind you. There are tons and tons of epic mini albums out there.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I haven’t listened to any of those yet but I’ll probably comment again when I’ve listened to a few. I don’t know how many I’ll listen to but I know that I’m listening to Shinee’s, Dreamcatcher’s, and AkMu’s for sure.
            I’ve already listened to half of dreamcatcher’s album wehen it came out, the first half was very impressive so I’m hoping the second half holds up.

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  2. I honestly think it’s the weakest song in the album. It’s too standard; it feels like a song any idol group could put out. But it’s cool to see how much attention it’s getting (it actually charted on Korea’s Melon Top 10, which is notoriously difficult for B-sides let alone BGs). This will probably join “I Need Somebody” or “Somehow” as DAY6’s most iconic B-sides of all time.

    I do think Zombie is the strongest track. As a music major, I think it’s the most musically interesting song of the album (despite being the least energetic: actually, it’s the least energetic track of any of the Book of Us songs according to Spotify). Rock and ballad are generally seen as opposing genres, so the way they couple them to swell and shrink throughout the song is really interesting. It goes well with the lyrics. What makes this a masterpiece for me is how the bridge misleads you into thinking you’ll get a grand finale, but you don’t- it just fades into a trickle. Overall, the song is not predictable, and that’s something we music majors love. Perfectly apt song given the circumstances- very grateful DAY6 released this.

    My overall ranking of tracks: Zombie>STOP>Day and Night>1 to 10>Afraid>Tick Tock>Love Me or Leave Me. Overall ranking of the Book of Us series thus far: Entropy>Demon>Gravity. What’s yours?

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    • For me personally:
      Love Me or Leave Me>Stop>Day and Night>Zombie>1 to 10>Afraid>Tick Tock

      Like

    • I get what you mean by it being too standard, but this works for me mostly because the instrumental is tighter and more propulsive than what most producers are giving idol groups these days. The verses are the least impactful part but even then they don’t feel throwaway and keep things moving at a decent pace to set up that sledgehammer chorus perfectly.

      Fwiw, I also don’t think that the rock/ballad dichotomy is as interesting as you say, but that’s because I’ve listened to a ton of alt-rock bands that do this a lot. Hell, even in the Korean scene, The Rose have done this quite a bit. I’m also not into unpredictability for its own sake, but this is probably me having war flashbacks for all those songs that settle for a mediocre drop instead of a proper chorus as if it’s the coolest thing ever (you wanted a chorus to sing along to? Have a drop instead! Beep boop). I *do* love Zombie though, but that’s probably because the lyrics hitting me and, even if I don’t think the structure is new, I think it’s well-executed.

      My own ranking:

      Love Me or Leave Me > STOP > Zombie > 1 to 10 > Afraid > Tick Tock > Day and Night

      Like

    • If I had to rank:

      Tracks: Love Me or Leave Me > 1 to 10 > Stop > Day and Night > Zombie > Afraid > Tick Tock

      Book of Us series: Entropy >> Gravity > Demon

      Like

  3. Yes! This is definitely the highlight of the album. Would rate it a 10, but I kinda wished the 2nd verse kept up the momentum of the 1st chorus instead of reverting back to the same verse. A solid 9 for me.

    Like

  4. YES YES YES YES YES

    Zombie has grown on me in a huge way but this is still my go-to song for this album. It’s so good. I LOVE whatever patch Wonpil is using for that post-chorus.

    Like

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