Review

Buried Treasure: Seventeen – Hey Buddy

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.


Seventeen’s Home;Run is a fun return-to-form for the group. I may not love it as much as most of you do, but it’s grown on me slightly and I appreciate its go-for-broke energy. With that said, part of me wishes for a world where b-side Hey Buddy had been fleshed out with all members and promoted as a title track. Instead, Buddy is one of the album’s unit tracks, performed by The8, Mingyu and DK. And, although the two tracks are of different genres, it actually shares a lot of connective tissue with Home;Run.

Hey Buddy uses big splashes of brass to power its funk-pop frame, but adds a groovy bass that gives the instrumental a stickier rhythm. I think the production choices are particularly good here, but that could just be my bias for funk pop talking. Either way, the track is all rhythm, like a coiled spring ready to pounce at every turn. It’s an effortless party-starter, in a year where we could all use more good energy.

Hey Buddy isn’t particularly melodic, but in this case I think that’s okay. Melody isn’t key to the song’s appeal, as the bass and brass take center stage and compensate for the track’s comparatively throwaway hooks. To make an extremely specific comparison, there are many parts of Buddy (especially its chorus) that remind me of Jeong Jinwoon’s 2016 single Will. I doubt whether this was intentional given how obscure that song is, but the two certainly make a striking pair.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.5


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5 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Seventeen – Hey Buddy

  1. I seriously had a huge smile on my face while listening to this song because of how fun and funky it is. I’ve been a huge Carat (and long time lurker here) since 2016 so funk/pop Seventeen has been sorely missed. I know you weren’t a big fan of Homerun, but I wonder how you feel about the rest of the mini? Hey Buddy was definitely the highlight for me too, and I couldn’t really stand Do Re Mi.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Homerun has grown on me a bit over the week — probably mid-8’s now. The album is fine, but most of it feels like mid-tier Seventeen to me. The last album of theirs I really liked was An Ode (which I guess wasn’t all that long ago…)

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  2. Hey Buddy made it!! Even though I like DoReMi slightly more, there’s no denying the absolute charm this song carries. The maknae line of Seventeen chose well. Kudos!

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  3. Home;Run has grown on me, too. I still don’t think it’s up there with their best titles but I much prefer it to all of their moodier releases (except maybe DWC).

    I was expecting a buried treasure for this one! I think our tastes overlap most when it comes to funk pop- I am also biased for anything funky. This song is pure catchy, dancy, shout-along fun. It’s great, I love it. I’m still in love with DK’s voice of course, which makes this even better for me.

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  4. I have to say that I like this song better than Homerun, as it isn’t trying too hard. Because it doesn’t have the pressure of being the lead song, it can lay into its groove. It can add instrumental elements without thinking too hard about it, without chopping up the lines so many ways or trying to be more this that or the other thing.

    Also DK, hooray. DK rising in my own list of high quality kpop singers. He didn’t get nearly enough lines in Homerun. He owns the his part of the song so easily. Heck, the three of them (DK Mingyu The8) own this song as well as or even better than having thirteen members.

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