Review

Buried Treasure: TXT – Drama

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.


I wouldn’t normally feature a buried treasure on the same day as a title track review, but Can’t You See Me vs. Drama is such a study in contrast that it seemed appropriate to write about the two songs back to back. With any luck, in a few weeks I’ll be referring to Drama as a title track anyways, because Big Hit will come to their senses and let TXT promote it as a follow-up. Just putting that out there!

If that wish were to come true, Drama would reign right alongside the mighty Crown and Run Away to form a trilogy worthy of TXT’s immense promise. I harp on and on about wanting more bright pop songs, but that doesn’t mean they need to be cute or juvenile. Drama doesn’t feel like a step back for the group, but it has so many of the ingredients I’ve been missing in K-pop this year. There’s a pep to the energy. It’s got the spark of rhythm. You can actually dance to it! And, it never pulls back to some needlessly moody lull.

Better yet, Drama features honest-to-goodness verses that are as catchy as (if not catchier than) its chorus. I can’t stress enough how refreshing this is in 2020. Verses have become a lost art in K-pop, trying to do both too much and too little at the same time.

Though not quite as melodically robust as I would’ve liked, Drama’s chorus pulses with an addictive energy. THIS is the kind of song that I want to hear in a concert – not some drowsy trap dirge. To me, trap is the antithesis to groove, and thankfully there’s none to be found here. Instead, Drama is all groove, from its shimmering rhythm guitar to pulsing keys and celebratory percussion. The rousing bridge brings this into even greater focus, offering the kind of clap-along crowd moment that just makes you feel great.

You’ve suffered through my complaints about dark, gloomy boy group fare for months now. Well, Drama is the antidote. This is what I want boy groups to be releasing more of, this is what TXT does best, and this should have been the damn title track.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.25

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

20 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: TXT – Drama

  1. I’ve disagreed with almost every rating on this site in the past week, but this, this is a track that deserves every bit of praise it gets. Honestly, as much as I enjoyed Can’t You See Me? 2020 is the year of b-sides. All I’m thinking of now is if Drama or Love Me or Leave Me is going to end up higher on my end of the year b-sides list. God I pray that Drama does well on the charts, it would be nice to see a change of pace in the top 10.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It literally sounds like senior year of high school in one song and it’s SO ADDICTIVE LIKE BIGHIT OUTSOLD WITH THIS ONE. Can’t You See Me and Drama remind me of Crossroads and Labyrinth because the title tracks were much weaker, but chosen for story telling purposes and the stars of the show remain in the dust.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I very nearly made this exact same comparison (re: GFriend) in the post. I may have to expand upon the idea of concept and storytelling in another patented Bias List rant…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Not gonna lie, I’m enjoying your recent rant posts, they’re kind of cathartic and fun to read. They also seem to be attracting more attention to your site (for better or worse haha).

        Liked by 2 people

        • Haha I’m glad to hear this! Sometimes I feel like the only K-pop grump on the internet, endlessly repeating myself.

          But you’re right, these rants tend to get a lot of views, which gives me some hope I guess!

          Like

        • I like Can’t You See Me, especially alongside that stunning music video. But Drama probably would have been a better choice as a lead single. I would never ask for it as a single, but my favorite song on the album is Eternally. It takes my favorite aspects of New Rules, amps them up to 11, and then slaps you with them after that deceiving first verse. I don’t understand what it’s trying to say but I feel it.

          Like

          • This was meant to be a full comment and not a reply. This comments section of this website is a bit of a pain to navigate on mobile…

            Like

      • I remember your “if I ruled K-pop” rant you did a while back and became impressed with your recommendation to VIXX, their songs lack engagement due to concept reputation they go – I hope by the time they do a group come back they try to emulate your recommendation!

        Like

  3. I think we all knew it’d be this one LOL

    They’re promoting it alongside CYSM & Fairy of Shampoo (my personal favorite) so there’s that at least. Drama is definitely the most bombastic fun on the mini by far. Any feelings on the rest of the songs? I like everything pretty decently except Puma and feel Beomgyu did a nice job of producing Maze in the Mirror with additional parts from the other members in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s fine, and will probably grow on me. I’m just upset that Drama is the only real upbeat track. It’s all so subdued and navel-gazing. I long for an album of back-to-back, fun dance music.

      Like

  4. I woke up this morning to a set of their comeback showcase performances that included Drama, Can’t you see me and Fairy shampoo. I really thought Drama was the main track, until I saw that it isn’t. This just sounds so much more TXT than the actual title track.

    I guess at this point, ATEEZ is the only new group that hasn’t disappointed me and has been constant with their image and sound, even with their elaborate story-telling. Let’s hope that stays that way, at least.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. My god, i’m having opposite opinion on can’t you see me and drama with you, lol 😂😂😂 i really like can’t you see me, and drama sounds a lil bit boring for me, tbh ://// it’s repeatitive to me, but i like its bridge :3 for me, it’s actually the least favourite song in the album

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  6. This one is very good. This is fresh, fun, catchy, I don’t ask more for a good pop song. Overall the mini album is solid even if as you said, it lacks of upbeat songs. I will just add that Big Hit’s sound quality is pretty bad and their vocal process abuse becomes very annoying.
    But Drama is great, I hope they will promote it like they did for Cats & Dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. .

    First, I am going to agree absolutely that it would have been a better choice for title track.

    I will also agree with TRUONG that it is repetitive. The piano chords are less melody, less hook, and more stealth obbligato. They don’t change. Well, if they do it isn’t by much. Only at 2:00-2:45 does it switch it up. Verse, Chorus, both the same. If I were a younger TXT fan, I could easily pick out the couple measures of repeated chords on the piano, and know the song, and impress my friends! Or these days, look the music up online.

    I also think it is higher energy, but that energy is at the same level for almost the whole song, so for my tastes I found it too loud for too long.

    The Shampoo song cracks me up. It sounds like old school R&B circa 1980-1982 with kpop light breathy tenors grafted on top. James Ingram “Baby Come to Me”-style slow jam.

    Liked by 1 person

    • See, I don’t mind repetition if it’s a repetitive groove we’re talking about. I like how Drama’s production is loud and sustained all the way through, but that’s pretty much me in a nutshell 🙂

      And the Shampoo song is actually a cover of old 90’s song, so that’s probably why it triggers those comparisons!

      Like

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