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.
Back in September, it felt like a missed opportunity for Everglow not to promote b-side Untouchable as the natural follow-up to La Di Da. They really excel at this retro dance pop sound. Thankfully, their new single album includes another track in the same vein. While not quite as successful as Untouchable, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell certainly eclipses their current title track.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is at its best when it forgoes current trends and leans fully into its breezy nature. The instrumental has a bright bounce to it, fusing perfectly with the song’s light melody. The chorus is a little repetitive for my taste, but it’s definitely an earworm. I prefer the verses, which glide with a satisfying ease. At times, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell falls victim to the omnipresent hi-hat roll, and this undercuts some of its retro cred. But, when the song focuses on its strengths it can be a ton of fun.
Everglow give a pleasant, understated performance, never feeling as if they’re adopting a character (ie: aegyo or girl crush). This straightforward delivery is refreshing, and fits the song’s laidback nature. With some slight tweaking in production, I think this could have made for a very convincing summer single, tiding us over while we all wait for another La Di Da.