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.
I wasn’t able to find a buried treasure on NCT Dream’s Hot Sauce, but their fantastic Hello Future hints at a return to form. The song’s inclusion on the album acts as a needed anchor. Repackages can sometimes feel extraneous, but this one elevates the entire project. Even better, the track is followed by Bungee, which delivers an optimistic summer sound in keeping with Hello Future’s sunny vibe.
After a series of wispy synth strings, the track bounds into its off-kilter groove. The verse catches you off-guard, sputtering to life while flirting with a rhythm that never quite materializes. I would have loved to hear a more dynamic beat here, but the scattershot instrumental builds tension for the knockout chorus soon to come.
Like Hello Future, Bungee’s chorus twists its melody in unexpected directions. The guys’ vocals are layered to lend the track maximum texture, and their performance is incredibly funky in a subdued way. I love the descending structure of this hook. It spirals downward before swooping up again, bringing an addictive sense of movement. Coupled with the herky jerky synths, this refrain plays with rhythm in a way that infuses this thoroughly modern production with a touch of old-school funk. Bungee knows how to utilize dynamics and space, crafting a loose arrangement that will surely get your head nodding.