A K-pop group’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. 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.
What’s up with WM Entertainment continued failure to build upon ONF’s hype? After Road to Kingdom, they were ripe for a big breakout. And yes, their album sales spiked in 2020. But releasing one version of one mini album each year is not a viable plan when it comes to the overcrowded, cutthroat K-pop market. ONF need to blitz the landscape with multiple, continuous releases for at least a year. Hopefully that begins with co-leader Hyojin’s new OST for True Beauty.
I watched the first episode of True Beauty and couldn’t get into it (I’m a much bigger fan of competing drama Run On — and its great OST from Lucy!), but the show has resulted in solid music so far. ONF themselves recorded an excellent OST last year for web-drama Love Revolution. Similarly, Before Today Is Over (오늘이 지나기 전에) is a ton of fun. It’s the umpteenth track to anchor itself with a retro synth riff a la A-Ha’s Take On Me, but that bright energy continues to feel welcome in K-pop.
Hyojin is a great vocalist. Some of you have asked why he’s not a personal favorite, and that just comes down to preference. While technically sound and powerful, his voice hasn’t yet connected with me on the emotional level that it takes to become part of my (made up) “top vocalists” club. Still, he delivers Before Today Is Over with panache. But at under three minutes in length, this song feels like it’s missing a huge chunk. Where’s that third chorus? And for that matter, where’s the intense climax that the driving instrumental seems to be promising?
Regardless, this track is a blast, and not too far from what I hope ONF comes back with (if WM ever lets them come back…)