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.
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.