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.
SuperM’s new album is so loaded with content that it’s hard to complain, even when you reach its uneven portions. To me, much of the music sounds more like early-to-mid 2000’s American pop than K-pop, which is fine. It’s even oddly refreshing at times. But, my favorite moments are those that steer closer to the quintessential SM Entertainment sound. Yes, I’m one of those strange people who still thinks that 100 is one of the strongest tracks on the album. I have a feeling this controversial opinion will be discussed for years in my comments section!
Beyond the singles, there’s plenty to enjoy on Super One. Together At Home is one of the few songs sung primarily in Korean, which instantly increases its favor because I don’t have to worry about cheesy English-language lyrics. It’s just hard to feel the same emotion and credibility when a singer is performing a language they’re not fluent in. This relegates a lot of the album’s lyrics to pure lip service, which is one of the reasons a deliberately cheesy track like 100 goes down so well. It would be over-the-top stupid in any language, and it knows it.
Anyway, back to Together At Home, which — based on its title alone — sounds dreadfully on-the-nose. But, it’s actually one of the breeziest bits of uptempo pop on the album. It opens with a catchy chanted hook that forms the track’s anchor before segueing into a bass-driven verse. The instrumental is surprisingly gritty here, contrasted by bright synths that emerge to bring us into the pre-chorus. The production clears to skeletal electronics during this segment, which spotlights Baekhyun’s always-compelling vocals. This refrain almost functions as a chorus itself, driven by an addictive melody that’s repeated later in the track with a towering, layered arrangement. Together At Home never builds to anything more than a good time, but this kind of bright, summery pop music will never go out of style.