Review

Buried Treasure: Kep1er – MVSK

Kep1er - MVSKA 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.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

7 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Kep1er – MVSK

  1. a lot of fans are loving this track more than WA DA DA, I hope their company listens to the response to this song and change their sound up for their first (and future) comebacks

    Liked by 5 people

  2. we were here a year and a half ago with I*zone’s “Sequence.”
    A brilliant e.one album track, that outshone it’s accompanying title track.
    I love the anti-drops personally so this didn’t disappoint.
    Love the little acapella “note drops”, I wonder if “Beautiful, Beautiful” has helped bring back vocal moments like this.

    This is the track that makes me think, “Kep1er could be very good group with the right direction”.

    It truly surpasses Wa Da Da on all levels, and it’s engaging from the get go.
    Big fan of “Mvsk”!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Like Noah said, it’s interesting to compare this to IZ*ONE’s Sequence, an e.one b-side for another Mnet show group that was better than the title track. They were also both promoted with a choreography, which is both appreciated but also frustrating because they were that close to making it as the title track!

    Anyways I’m not the biggest fan of anti-drops for a chorus either, but the stopping and starting here is super interesting. Reminds me of Pantomime by WJSN in the best way (a comparison I’m sure some have already made), especially the “Pause!” anti-drop near the end of the song. Totally agree on the verses, they’re my favourite part.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was starting to think qe wouldn’t get a buried treasure for this 😭😭. Glad we did tho. i love this song a lot. It feels like a rightful successor to WJSN’s wonderful “Pantomime”. Just like Noah I’m a big fan of a good anti drop and this might be the best one I’ve heard in kpop this far. Personally its a 9-9.25/10 as of rn for me.

    Like

  5. Wa Da Da was a fun track, but it lacked a cohesive identity, it felt all over the place.
    On the other hand, MVSK clearly has a plan. That is why it works. You can clearly tell E.One entered the song with a plan before messing with the elements on their production table. The stylistic drop works really well, and the chugging trance-inspired bridge provides just the right level of experimentation. Totally a win in my books!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. it’s not my personal style and i’m not usually a fan of this particular sound (+antidrops, since usually im a fan of big, anthemic drops) but for some reason it just works for me lmao
    i can’t really see this being a title track imo but it’s a solid b-side and i really wish wa da da could’ve been something with a lot more substance (although “WA DA DA DA” is stuck in my head forever)

    also, i know you cover only kpop and other asian music, but i am a proud and unashamed obsessed fifth harmony stan and i was wondering if you’d listen and give your thoughts on one of their b-sides “lonely night”:

    it’s pretty different from the rest of their music and is one of my personal favs, so i wanted to see what you’d think of it haha

    Like

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