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.
TXT’s Blue Hour has already grown on me, and I think their new mini album is their strongest since debut. It’s hard to pick buried treasures with this group since Big Hit has so often transformed b-sides into follow-up singles weeks after the album release. So, I may end up having to change the heading of this review as time goes on!
Beyond the title track, the album really comes down to two incredible highlights: Ghosting and Wishlist. The songs share little in common, but are each fantastic examples of their chosen genre. Of the two, the track that’s wormed its way into my head more effectively is Ghosting.
I always appreciate when TXT’s music veers into soft rock and dream pop. Ghosting follows tracks like Nap of a Star and Maze in the Mirror, but feels even more assured. Big Hit’s insistence on airy vocal processing and muddled mixing actually works well in tracks like these, because it creates a lo-fi atmosphere that is often found in alt rock. Songs like this are meant to sound hazy and ethereal, so I’ve got no issues with the effects used.
More importantly, Ghosting offers a killer melody. It’s a slow burn song, but that doesn’t mean that it takes too long to become interesting. The chorus is teased right from the beginning, and the synth-rock instrumental imbues the entire thing with an emotional drive. When the full chorus unveils itself, the melody sweeps over you with a sense of understated majesty that’s really quite evocative. You don’t hear songs like this very often in K-pop, and I think this could become TXT’s niche. The group is incredibly well-suited to the style.