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.
As we impatiently wait for the Eternal Sunshine music video (why drop a teaser without a concrete release date?), I want to write about another highlight from ATEEZ’s new mini album. I’m ready to leave their Fever era in the dust, and I don’t think it’s done much to develop their sound. But as a whole, Part 3 is more consistent than its predecessors. I guess we should be grateful that they’re ending the series on a high.
ATEEZ’s music is at its best when it goes big. Rocky turns the volume up to eleven and unleashes its stomping, guitar-fueled blast without restraint. I’ve read that this was considered as title track material alongside Deja Vu and Eternal Sunshine, and it would have made for exciting promotions. The instrumental swaggers all over the place, anchored by heavy percussion and a dramatic riff. At times, the blustering brew feels like reheated Monsta X, but that sense of familiarity is salvaged as soon as electric guitar rips through the final chorus. Rocky finds a satisfying climax, and that’s always been a vital aspect of any good ATEEZ track.
If I had my way, Rocky‘s fun instrumental would be paired with an even stronger hook. The melody is a little one-note, relying heavily on snarling bravado. Compliment Rocky’s engaging bombast with a more melodic topline and you’d have an incredible highlight. As it stands, the track is one of the best from ATEEZ’s Fever series. But compared to the 2018-20 Treasure Era, that’s a lower hurdle to cross.