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.
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