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 think that Cosmic Girls’ Neverland is my favorite girl group mini album of the year so far, but that’s no surprise because they’ve been delivering incredibly consistent albums for awhile now. It’s always hard to pick just one buried treasure. I love Hola’s hard-hitting sugar pop sound. It would have made a great title track. Where Are You and Tra-la recall 2016-era GFriend in the best way, complete with lush instrumentals and exciting power notes. But ultimately, I decided to go with the most musically adventurous song on the album.
Pantomime lives up to its theatrical title, unleashing a slinky dance beat that’s constantly in flux. The girls take a popular trend – deep house percussion – and twist it to their own making. There’s a slight dose of “cosmic” here, which is always something I’ve appreciated about the group. The instrumental pulses with an addictive spontaneity, percolating with a twisty arrangement that tugs at the rhythm like a good scratch DJ would.
The production swerves here and there, occasionally upended by an aural roadblock that only serves to boost the overall energy. This is especially evident at the end of Pantomime’s climax. The music builds, and you’d expect it to explode. Instead, the instrumental pulls back to a dull throb. I’m usually not a fan of these so-called “anti-drops,” but the technique is used brilliantly here. It helps that everything’s tied together by a sticky hook – repetitive but never cloying.
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This is the deep house GWSN wishes it could do.
Once again, WJSN works its cosmic magic, making me like a genre I thought I was long over.
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Speaking of the album, wait, HOLA sampled “Genie” ??????
For Pantomime, I do hope the group I am following had songs like that in their recent album sigh. Problem for me is the return minor hook is not satisfying enough, at least not as good as any of those Shinsadong Tiger copy pastas.
Man, album wise, Cosmic Girls are just so consistently good. It’s honestly kinda crazy in today’s kpop scene.
Although I didn’t love the title track, it was still fine and all the goodness in the b-sides makes up for it. I think I like Hola and Pantomine about the same but for different reasons so they’d be my stand outs from the album.
I’m low key still a bit salty that they didn’t manage to see the potential of Hola as a summer title track.
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How would you rank the songs in the album Nick?
I share the sentiment about Neverland being the best gg mini of the year so far. It’s all killer no filler and might just be my favourite WJSN album next to For The Summer!
Pantomime is also my pick for best song on the album! It’s like a more obscure version of IZ*ONE’s Highlight (which was one of my favourite b-sides of 2019). Love it!
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This is wonderful and probably the most experimental song they’ve released.
when i was listen Pantomime for first time, i was very surprised, like I don’t know where this song will end. such a ride! Pantomime is my pick for best song of this album. i like how experimental it is.
i must say these first half year of 2020 a lot of girl groups really produced wonderful albums.