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.
Two buried treasures in one day? From the same album?? I’m not sure that’s ever happened on The Bias List, but few albums deliver more than one excellent b-side. I couldn’t wait to write about One By One, but just had to offer my thoughts on Buddy as well.
Is this song a secret ode to the now-defunct GFriend and their grieving fan base? Sadly, I don’t think so. In keeping with Lucy’s energy, it seems more like a simple celebration of friendship. And though Buddy adheres to the electronic influence permeating the entire album, synths are used more sparingly here. Instead, the track thrives on a stomping, rootsy sound.
It also happens to boast one of the best choruses in Lucy’s discography. This is previewed by a pre-chorus that draws upon the same melodic through-line, but plays with the arrangement. I love how most of the instrumentation drops out here to allow the guys’ chorused voices to surge upward. It’s almost gospel-like in its fervor, and when the violin comes in later, it brings a whimsical touch that sounds more like a fiddle.
Then, Buddy crests into its epic hook. This is the kind of ‘belt it out’ singalong made for concerts. Lucy have a gift for writing songs and arrangements that make you feel optimistic and empowered. They’re like a big, musical hug. Sangyeop’s vocals do the hugging here, and he sounds absolutely larger than life. What a rush!