Review

Buried Treasure: Dreamcatcher – Whistle

Dreamcatcher - WhistleA 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.


As great as 2021 has been in K-pop, I’m still waiting for this era’s girl group trends to appeal to me. During “the great drought of July,” I’ve found myself returning to second gen girl group discographies. Songs by artists like Kara, SNSD, Nine Muses, Sistar, T-ara and Girl’s Day still hold up so well, yet their general sound is all-but absent from today’s output. It’s a gap in the market that’s just waiting to be filled, and a song like Dreamcatcher’s Whistle does exactly that. There’s no sing-talk or chanting. The instrumental has a fullness and weight. The girls perform unaffected. It boasts a chorus that’s not simply a series of onomatopoeia’s. “Attitude” isn’t its overriding purpose.

In short, it’s super refreshing.

Dreamcatcher are a likely conduit for this style, even if it doesn’t match their rock roots. They’ve been doing their own thing for years now, largely unbothered by overarching trends. Whistle is a much lighter sound than they’ve become associated with, but it harnesses the robust melody and sleek energy found in many of their EDM-flavored tracks. Whistle doesn’t feel like it’s forcing itself to be anything beyond a solid pop song, and that straightforward drive is appreciated.

I’m not a huge fan of the whistled hook (you all know how I feel about whistles in pop music), but given the title, I’d be foolish to have other expectations! Instead, my ears focus on the lovely vocals and that insistent instrumental. Right from the start, Whistle’s production is resonant and rounded, blending to create a hearty blend of low and high end that feels so satisfying. The mix becomes even more exciting as guitar joins for the pre-chorus. And then, we’ve got an evocative chorus to round it all out. I wonder if Dreamcatcher’s agency would ever consider releasing a title track in this style?

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


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17 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Dreamcatcher – Whistle

  1. I am in love with this and Airplane, but I can see why you chose Whistle to review. I think this type of sound could be a great thing for them to explore in the future. Dreamcatcher is my favorite active girl group at the moment (with f(x) being my all time favorite), so if it isn’t obvious, I go for groups with amazing discographies. And Dreamcatcher has some stunning b-sides, like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Can anyone recommend some of their EDM-style b-sides to check out? Their catalogue is dense and diverse enough that I haven’t had time to dig through it all yet. I enjoyed this one and Airplane, and BEcause as well for that matter, but I tend to like the more energetic tracks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha! Called it! (Though I was hedging on the slight possibility you were gonna give the feature to Alldaylong.) I have been obsessed with this song since the highlight medley. They always seem to put their best EDM-flavored stuff on the fourth slot. Sleep-walking, Silent Night, Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind, Poison Love, Whistle. :)) I mean their mini-albums follow a formula for the most part. But yes.

    What do you think of the album as a whole? Personally I think Road to Utopia is the stronger effort, but this is good for what it is, a seasonal summer album to chill to. HFE/DCC really trolled us by suggesting “summer concept” with their initial teasers, then hitting us with BEcause which is decidedly not a summer track, then loading the rest of the mini with the summery goodness. :))))))

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Honestly a lil disappointed here. Idk what i was expecting but the highlight medley teaser had me insanely excited and led me to believe the song would sound more electronic than it actually was. I get that it’s called ‘whistle’ but i would have loved a bigger explosion at the drop rather than the smooth transition into the whistle melody. This isn’t my favourite dreamcatcher track, but its definitely still my favourite b-side of this album because you know i can’t not love some good dance music 😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fair enough. I prefer Alldaylong, but I’m biased so.

    I didn’t particularly like Poison Love and Whistle at first listen. They were different from their previous attempts at EDM enough that it wasn’t registering to me yet. Though, I just relistened to them today and I get the love for them a lot more now. I think further listens will make me like them a lot more, but as of now they’re really good songs that haven’t sunk in yet.

    Like

  6. I, too, found myself returning to second gen girl group discographies during the great drought of July! my Spotify was filled with “This is _____” girl group playlists lol.

    Like

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