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 were a ton of mini albums released this week. After listening to them all, I think Jinjin and Rocky’s Restore is my personal favorite (Yena’s Smiley comes second). It’s not perfect, but there are enough highlights to elevate the less-striking material. Though I’m going to gush about Lock Down today, I also recommend Rocky’s solo CPR, especially if you want to hear what it sounds like when a vocalist absolutely attacks a pop song.
With that said, Lock Down is my favorite song on the album. I even prefer it to the title track. We all have bad memories around the words “lock down,” but the sound here isn’t glum. The song continues to develop the funk pop style lacing the bulk of the album. It’s anchored by an incredibly catchy chorus, creeping over rugged bass guitar that brings weight to the bottom end. Seriously, this bass will shake your bones. It sounds great in the car.
The compelling instrumental is met with equally exciting melodies. Lock Down’s hook traces the bassline — a coordinated attack that’s impossible to resist. But, the song doesn’t stop there. The post-chorus fires off a key change to provide a sense of lift just when Lock Down needs it. The verses are a mix of vocal and rap, continuing to spark the song’s funky energy. We’ve heard a ton of ‘bass drop hooks’ in K-pop over the last year or so, but this one still manages to feel fresh and exciting.