Review

Buried Treasure: Kingdom – Blinder

Kingdom - BlinderA 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.


Kingdom and I have fallen into a predictable pattern. I praise the cool visuals and concepts tied to their title tracks, yet lament how this very same concept restricts the songs themselves. Then, a few days later I feature a great b-side and wish it could somehow be fused to the group’s historical schtick. Rinse and repeat, right?

Well, we’re repeating again because I’m not really into title track Ascension but love a couple of the b-sides. In fact, the upbeat Blinder may be my favorite Kingdom song yet. I know it’s not summer yet, but this is the style of track I hope becomes ubiquitous as we move into June and July. I’m a sucker for its fusion of guitar and EDM beats, especially when tied to a buoyant melody and insistent energy. Blinder doesn’t offer anything we haven’t heard from pop music before, but it’s such a welcome tonic.

For Kingdom’s part, they perform the hell out of the track. While the chorus opts for an instrumental-heavy hook, the extended melody lines give the guys an opportunity to really belt it out. They meet the moment, delivering a performance that feels breezy and effortless. There’s even a tricky power note during the climax that pulls the pitch upward in a moment of welcome release. It all just works, and you’ll find yourself nodding along in no time.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

4 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Kingdom – Blinder

  1. Between Blinder, Illusion, and Appetite I was having trouble guessing what I thought your buried treasure would be, but I was pretty sure you would have one. Blinder absolutely is a feel good tonic and a great summer song. I think illusion might be my favorite but honestly I am having a really hard time picking one as I love them all. I also adore promise as well, its cool that they bookended the album with the historical Korean influences. I really do think this is their best album yet and even if you don’t love their titles there’s always a little bit of something for everyone in their B sides. As a a big fan its been so satisfying to watch their growth over the last year, their vocals are already so much better. Back when they debuted I thought there was no way they could keep up with their own ambition but let me tell you I have never been so happy to be wrong.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I really loved the bsides this time! All of them sounded really good! My favorite might have to be Promise though 😂 I’m a sucker for traditional sounds so for some reason it’s the one that got my att the most especially since the sang it on their showcase 🙂

    But overall it was a good album!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh yay, I’m glad you chose this one! This is one of my overall favorite b-sides for Kingdom as well. I’m curious to see what happens after they cycle through the seven kings and if they’ll change their concept to something looser that allows title tracks like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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