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 seems a little silly to call Super Junior’s Burn The Floor a “buried” treasure. After all, it was revealed months ago via a pre-release performance and is still being promoted alongside title track House Party. But without a proper music video, this is the slot the song falls into on The Bias List.
Either way, I wanted to write about Burn The Floor because I think it should have been the album’s title track. Its general sound seems to fit the concept of Renaissance much better, and the dramatic arrangement practically begs for a visual component. Plus, there’s no jarring breakdown thrown into its middle! Truth be told, I’m sure I’ll come around to House Party’s weird trap PSA eventually. I tend to be “all bark and no bite” in that way.
But, I’m also a sucker for orchestral sounds in pop songs. Burn The Floor builds itself around a symphonic backdrop, opening with strings that soon give way to a more percussive instrumental. This song’s first verse is my favorite, as its sparse arrangement allows for great spotlight on the guys’ vocals. The chorus brings the bombast as a choir of voices join Super Junior. My only quibble is those hi hat rolls. K-pop producers: these don’t have to be part of every single song just because you can throw them in. It reminds me of the persistent tropical synth squiggle trend a few years ago. And, the hi-hats are especially jarring here because their tinny sound contrasts greatly with the lushness of the orchestration. Their presence nearly overshadows everything else.
That production choice aside, Burn The Floor swells with great pomp and circumstance. I love how the backing vocals become more dramatic as the song goes on, and the layered chorus works as a fantastic centerpiece. But, I keep going back to the simplicity of that opening verse. The melody here is so pretty, and harnesses a sense of refinement that feels like the soundtrack to a true Super Junior renaissance.