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.
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