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’m so happy to have an actual mini album from Sunmi. Even if K-pop albums are usually packed with some filler, they provide important context for an artist’s career and discography. You can only show so much through a digital single. It’s nice to have b-sides that flesh out Sunmi’s sound.
With that said, I think they chose the correct song to promote as title track. You Can’t Sit With Us may not be her best release, but it does feel like a single. The rest of the album treads similar water, yet feels more subdued. It’s a solid body of work, with tracks like Narcissism pushing her sound forward. I’m quite partial to Call, which brings Sunmi to the dancefloor with a groovy house beat.
I appreciate the forward drive of this song. The pulsing electronic beat provides the perfect backdrop for Sunmi’s charismatic performance. The production is sleek and single-minded, and really paints a vibe. Melodically, the track harnesses so many of the hallmarks that make her music so great. The refrains are a bit ungainly, overstuffed with lyrics as they tumble over each other. The chorus has a great descending structure, fleshing out and speeding up, but coming across as unforced and confessional. It’s personal touches like these that make a Sunmi song feel unique. Call would be pretty straightforward if performed by anyone else, but she brings it to life by injecting pathos and drama into every curve of the melody.