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.
Though they had no comeback, TXT released two new songs this week. One was Japanese ballad Ito and the other is Eyes (감은 눈을 떠봐) – an OST for a kid’s show about robot dinosaurs. Yep, that checks out.
Some of my first experience with pop music came courtesy of shows like Transformers and Power Rangers, so I’m always open to a great kiddie theme song. But without knowing Eyes’ origin, it comes across as a natural progression of the rock-infused sound TXT explored on their past two title tracks. The group seems to have settled on this style as their current template, and it’s a great fit.
Eyes surges on anthemic guitar and footfalls of bounding percussion. It’s packed with spirit, driven by a melody that feels open and optimistic. This style isn’t very popular in K-pop at the moment, and the hooks are probably too subdued to make for a successful title track. But, I appreciate the light touch. Eyes builds and builds, causing its emotive chorus to hit harder each time it comes around. TXT do their part to make the track memorable. Like other HYBE artists, their vocals are often overly processed. However, each member has an identifiable tone. This variety brings needed character to the performance. I wouldn’t call them a vocal powerhouse group, but they’ve got heart. Sometimes that’s more important, particularly when dealing with material like this. Eyes makes a nice cap on a very strong year for TXT, and an avenue to keep exploring in 2022.