Review

Buried Treasure: GHOST9 – Starvoy

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.


It wasn’t GHOST9’s debut single that first got me into their music. I’ve since come around to it, but the album tracks were the real selling point for me. GHOST9 has a real adventurous side, and they’d do well to harness that further. I feel like they’re *this* close to excellence, but occasionally get tripped up by trying to replicate their peers (see: Seoul’s verses). Still, they’ve got a knack for a killer chorus. Though I’m not featuring it here, album track Uno deserves attention for its towering hook. That song is totally awesome.

Also awesome is the strangely-titled Starvoy. The song is basically “boy group covers WJSN,” down to a co-write from the e.one team. This is a welcome development, as I can never get enough of this sound. The song delivers on the retro flair some of their teasers were promising, offering a chugging dance beat with 90’s house piano and a slinky, satisfying drop. This isn’t “big-chorused GHOST9,” but it proves that they can pull off a variety of sounds.

I love the vocal phrasing in this track, particularly during the verses and pre-chorus. Starvoy plays like a coiled spring, unlocking groove after groove without stopping for breath. It gets a bit meandering at times, but always circles back to its rhythmic hook. And this might sound like a small detail, but I appreciate how the track finishes with an extended instrumental outro. I wouldn’t be upset if they continued this energy even longer than that.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


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8 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: GHOST9 – Starvoy

  1. I Love GHOST9! They may not have released one masterpiece yet, but something about their aura makes me feel excited.

    I am predicting that they’ll come back with a knock-your-socks-out comeback next time, by following where my non-official CLRS group was, It seems they could really blow your mind with this one. And if they *REALLY* do that, then GHOST9’s agency and PaperMaker are spying me for whatever reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I sometimes have issues with their title tracks, their b sides are AMAZING! Starvoy and Uno won my heart this time. The group still has room to grow, but their sound matches where I am at in my life. I really want the best for them 🥺 Can’t wait to see what they do next.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hip hip hooray for Ghost9 bsides. If only their agency would make 2 or 3 promotions from each mini album.
    Starboy is right up my alley. I am less taken with “Uno” because the verses are off putting, though the chorus is great.

    Like

      • Its spelled like that on youtube and itunes. I think its one of those letter by letter transliterations that are non-intuitive at first until we bother to learn the more proper Korean pronunciation. So a Korean B can be transliterated as a B as in Bangtan, a P as in Park, or sometimes a V as in Vixx.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Normally I agree with your buried treasures, and even if you already put a spotlight over it, Let’s just talk about how amazing UNO sounds! From it’s instrumental to the chorus, everything works more than it has any right to. I think this will end up in the same case as you loving I’m Gonna Be Hot more than Reborn on first listen but as time moves on, UNO Steals your heart.

    Just you wait!

    Like

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