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.
Unsurprisingly, The Boyz’ Thrill Ride has already started to grow on me. What can I say? I’m a big pushover. I still think its cheap thrills are a reductive use of the group’s talent, but I can appreciate it for the sing-song burst of poppy ear candy it is. The rest of the album is solid (if generic), with a couple tracks that are music video worthy. But, I wish Thrill-ing’s overall sound more strongly evoked the bright, retro pastiche of its cheesy neon cover art.
Instead, we’ve got a grab bag of sounds. The album is comparable to the most ramshackle of carnivals — a mixed bag of experiences that’s just about worth the price of admission. I’m the wimp who won’t go near those puke-a-thon, toss-you-around rides, so you’ll find me chilling at the roller rink listening to Dancing Till We Drop.
I don’t think this song is perfect. It could do with more bite, funkier production and just a slight uptick of energetic oomph. But, the song’s bass-driven, percussive nature is totally to my taste and captures a euphoric, carnival-like atmosphere better than any other track on the album. The simple melody is more reliant on charm than vocal bombast, allowing the guys to showcase their personalities. Even so, there are a few satisfying blasts of harmony that give Dancing a breezy appeal. With a more dynamic arrangement and killer choreo, I could easily see this succeeding as a title track and enhancing The Boyz’ run of strong, upbeat pop.
I shall also join you in roller rink as well Nick (and continue the amusement park motif)! “Dancing Till We Drop” is so slinky. I love it!
I think it was easy to feel disappointed after giving The Boyz’s main attraction “Thrill Ride” a try given the other attractions that opened on the same day (hello Ha Sungwoon and ONF).
I don’t think “Thrill Ride” has grown on me as much unfortunately, though it would still be a high 7 or a solid 8 for me maybe? Same verdict as before for me 🙂
But even then, The Boyz still do what they do best, and its their charisma and performance that elevates the song a lot more. That and the other bsides really made this whole mini sound great collectively (both contextually and musically).
Regardless, I’m looking forward to what The Boyz will deliver next as a very new fan of them.
The bass groove in this song is like Butter, if Butter was in a minor key and actually modulated to other chords.
I don’t always like deep loud bass these days because in this 808 era the bass is loud with heavy reverb just to be loud with heavy reverb. To be That Car. I’ll make an exception for this song, because the bass actually moves around. That moving bass is what makes it sound roller rink ready. It makes you mentally feel like maybe you should try those fancy moves like the people in the middle of the rink are doing. Or at least admire their moves even more.
You know what would have been more awesome? Yes. Of course. I will say it. An actual real live bass player playing this. I’m not asking for much, not asking for Richard Bona, just some local session bass, puhleease?!
SM Station “Coffee Break” ft Richard Bona
Oh the rest of the song, that floats above the bass. Yeah its fine too.
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I too love the album cover (it is the opposite of an ONF album cover lol), but it really makes the whole album just feel a whole lot more trashy. They should have saved that cover for a synthwave album or something.
Quite the contrary for me. While I do like tbz’s cover though it doesn’t fit the album’s context, I’m usually a great fan of onf’s physical media covers, it reminds me of gd’s untitled,2014 cover
Your description of their album as a “ramshackle carnival” made me want to check it out. That sounds awesome!
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I like this one, but I’m more of a roller-coaster fan, so my favorite has got to be either “Out of Control” or “Nightmare”, which is clearly the haunted house and that’s where this extended metaphor falls apart because I’m very hit or miss on those in real life. I’ve been taking advantage of the brief lull in this month’s comeback-a-thon to catch up on music shows and DREAMCATCHER’s “BEcause” has that same creepy doll energy as “Nightmare” – I love it. I hope TBZ promote one of their b-sides, because “Thrill Ride” isn’t really growing on me. It doesn’t help that their styling this CB seems to be all over the place and the choreo isn’t grabbing me as much as some of their other performances. The lifeguard concept on M Countdown had its appeal, but their Music Bank outfits looked like what I’m used to seeing in a dance practice video and the streetwear on Music Core wasn’t much better, although I suppose both sets of outfits fit the “theme park” concept in that they’re basically what I’d expect a 20-year-old guy to pull off their floor to wear to an amusement park, just less wrinkled.
It made my roller rink playlist, no problem.
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