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.
Rocket Punch’s Yellow Punch album doesn’t quite hang together as a unified sound, but I’m happy that Chiquita isn’t the only retro-tinged track. Woollim Entertainment has a habit of placing a standout “buried treasure” immediately after the main title track, and the synth-powered In My World (주인공) follows suit. It makes for a formidable one-two punch (forgive the wordplay!).
If Chiquita borrowed synth textures from Van Halen’s Jump, In My World is much closer to A-Ha’s Take On Me — a popular touchstone for K-pop even before our current retro trend. It’s still a modern girl group track through and through, but the production gives it an extra edge. The verses move along at a chirpy pace, their clipped delivery recalling many of Rocket Punch’s peers. I would have preferred a more melodic approach, but the girls do a nice job harnessing the energy of the track.
In My World really shines during its chorus. I like the melody here. It has a breeziness that matches the sprightly drive of the beat, curving downward in a cool, sophisticated manner. It doesn’t require much vocal bombast, and that gives it a comfortable subtlety. Yet, the hook still makes for a satisfying centerpiece. Even better, In My World never once slows or stumbles. The chugging synth production moves ever forward, making for a very pleasant listen.