A K-pop act’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.
Seventeen’s new mini album is strong, though I think June’s Your Choice still edges it out in both consistency and highlights. But, the two share at least one thing in common: they each open with great pop tracks. To You (소용돌이) is the trendier of the pair, but in a way that compliments Seventeen’s strengths.
Even though we’ve heard it in so many other tracks, I love the gurgling synth that opens To You. It’s as if the song is bubbling up from some primordial place, ready to unveil itself to the world. This intro soon gives way to a soft verse. Subtle synth and rhythm guitar lend it a bit of funk, while a steady beat places the track somewhere between sentimental mid-tempo and blissful slow dance. I guess this is Seventeen’s own version of the current retro synth-pop trend. It definitely has some elements that would be Weeknd-approved, but also conforms to a more rock-influenced style.
The instrumental continues to grow throughout the song, and this overstuffed backbone really fuels To You. There are stronger melodies on the album, but I appreciate the fullness of sound here. Energy is constantly generated through a series of sonic elements, making To You a total head rush. Like title track Rock With You, the vocal arrangement is a little flat at times. I would have loved to hear the individual voices pop more than they do. But, it’s hard to resist the bright, ethereal texture created by the guys’ performance. I have a feeling this will be one of those songs that benefits from time. It’s not super flashy, but you just want to keep listening to it.