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.
ATEEZ’s new album plays more like a collection of outtakes from their previous campaign than the start of something new. It’s not bad, but most of it is unexciting in a way I wouldn’t expect from the group. This comes despite adhering to the same songwriting/producing team that built their incredible sound. While standout Thanxx promises to be bolstered by an impending music video and will receive a full review when that’s released, today I’d like to focus on Good Lil Boy.
Of all Fever’s b-sides, Good Lil Boy stretches ATEEZ’s style in the most interesting direction. That’s due to an injection of drum and bass – a genre the group hasn’t yet explored. Its verses dutifully follow ATEEZ expectations, fusing hard-hitting hip-hop and aggressive percussion. They’re successful in parts, while distracting in others. But, once the song shifts to a more acoustic arrangement for its pre-chorus, Good Lil Boy begins to reveal its charms.
I love the chorus on this track. That drum and bass percussion comes in, underpinning a catchy hook that takes advantage of ATEEZ’s rollicking energy. This climaxes in a punky refrain, and you can practically envision how an imaginary music video might look. Unfortunately, Good Lil Boy’s full potential is undercut by a tempo-shifting second verse, similar to how Inception collapses mid-way through. It’s not enough to completely derail the track, but it does hold it back from becoming a new classic in their discography.
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