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.
The best Pentagon albums thrive on a sense of musical diversity. Though I haven’t loved everything he’s done, leader/producer Hui has covered a wide range of genres and doesn’t get enough credit for that experimentation. I think he’s at his best when most audacious, and the most striking moment on the group’s new album is the fun (and funny) funk track That’s Me.
If “call me funky winky boy” doesn’t become some sort of wonderful meme, 2021 has truly wasted an opportunity. It charms me on a primal level, both as a ridiculous statement and as a clever almost-rhyme that’s simply fun to say. But, That’s Me would only be so good if it was a complete novelty track. Its funk backbone has bite, and that’s what makes it a total standout.
Yes, that hook is instantly iconic. But, the song’s verses work overtime to ensure That’s Me goes beyond its catchphrase. Verse one pounds forward on a catchy guitar riff and sprightly percussion. The energy level reminds me of Seventeen’s Mansae era. This segment is all too brief, as That’s Me switches into a more straightforward dance beat for its second verse. However, this relative calm serves to set up the second chorus with aplomb. When the guitar kicks back in, the track gains renewed energy that sees it through to the end. I have no idea how That’s Me will age, but I’m banking on its sheer joy becoming a natural pick-me-up any time I need it.