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.
Though not as strong or consistent as either of their 2019 mini albums, Twice’s More & More is better than the title track that bears its name. However, many of its highlights are just solid examples of current trends. At some point, deep house beats and pitched vocals grow a bit stale, and it takes a really strong melody to revitalize them. I don’t know that many of those melodies exist across the length of this album, so my buried treasure is going to be something more timeless.
I don’t write about them often, but one of my absolute favorite K-pop styles is the “breezy summertime girl group bop.” I’m talking about tracks like Sistar’s Loving U, I Swear or Shake It. Girl’s Day’s Darling. Bestie’s Hot Baby. It’s not a style we hear all that often anymore, and I miss it dearly. Sweet Summer Day may not stack up to that illustrious competition, but it’s in the same vein.
First off, I’ll always love a little New Jack Swing. It’s an especially refreshing style in today’s trap-driven climate, and a surprisingly nice match for Twice. But beyond genre labels, Sweet Summer Day is just a classic pop song. You get the sense that it could be performed with any style of production and still be a success. The melody never twists itself to match a deep house drop or hip-hop breakdown. It’s not beholden to the instrumental, and I like that. Instead, Day is frothy fun, taking advantage of the girls’ charisma to craft an endearing ode to sunshine and frolics on the beach. It may only be a slight triumph within Twice’s ever-expanding discography, but in 2020 I’ll take what I can get!
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