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.
Taking Sweetune out of the equation, I think that e.one may be my absolute favorite production team when it comes to girl groups. For me, so much of K-pop production comes down to how you arrange the vocals. This is especially important for groups like IZ*ONE, who have a diverse array of skills that doesn’t always make for a naturally-tight vocal blend.
One of the issues I had with Panorama was just how exhausting it felt. Too often, the girls sounded strained, and that’s not entirely their fault. Producers can really work magic with effects and layering, and Sequence is an excellent example of that. This almost sounds like a different group entirely. Yes, the range isn’t quite as demanding, but just listen to how e.one wraps those vocals together to create texture. Yet, this never comes at the expense of personality.
Of course, Sequence is just a great dance song regardless of vocal production. The funky bass that underlines its hook is simple but incredibly groovy, and acts as the perfect foil to the group’s performance. Meanwhile, the verses have a retro sheen to them. They’re brisk and fun, and tug the group’s sing-talk style into something more structured and melodic. The chorus plays with expectations, delivering a descending refrain before growing into a more galvanizing climax. I really wish IZ*ONE would enlist e.one for a future title track. They’re such a great a match.