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.