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.
There are some production teams you can always count on. e.one’s sound has never been the “flavor of the month” type of trend. In fact, their work rarely gets chosen for title tracks at all. But, you always know you’re in for a treat when members of e.one are behind the board. Their detailed, dynamic compositions feel comfortable yet daring. They should have been given the honor of crafting Kep1er’s debut single.
Instead, e.one are in charge of b-side MVSK. This track charges forward with a sleeker intensity than Wa Da Da, jettisoning the grating onomatopoeias for a more measured approach. I love the driving force of the verses. They move along a catwalk strut, rugged synth pushing them forward. The girls deliver a confident vocal over the top, making the performance feel effortless.
I’m not a fan of choruses that clear space with an “anti-drop” structure, and I wish MVSK built up rather than deconstructed during its main hook. But, if you’re going to pull the rug from under us, you better do it with flair. The vocal arrangement here is quite engaging, forged into a bell-like arpeggio that gives the song a mystical air. It’s not long before the beat slams back with renewed force, refueling the momentum spurred from verse one. As MVSK moves toward its finale, we hit a moment of psych-trance (a sub-genre that never fully took off in K-pop, sadly) and the rhythm grows more complex. I often use the word “fitful” in a negative way, but MVSK is an example of fantastic fitfulness.