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.
It seems to me that as K-pop instrumentals have grown busier and more complex, the overall tempo and energy of title tracks has decreased. This could be for several reasons. For one, it’s a lot easier to tie intricate choreography to a slower groove. Also, fast, energetic songs are just difficult to perform over and over again on music shows.
Whatever the reason, it seems like the most propulsive, exciting K-pop tracks are often relegated to b-sides these days. And in the case of VERIVERY’s new album, they’re relegated to the final handful of tracks. This week’s Undercover did little for me, but the guys have a few gems waiting in the wings. Velocity is my definite standout, and would have made for a much more exciting comeback.
With a title like “Velocity,” you know what to expect. The track is brisk and explosive, thriving on a house beat that never lets up. The production is straightforward, but I love that sense of focus. How many times have we been cruising along a K-pop dance track only to drop out during a tempo-shifting verse? Velocity is a high speed car chase of a song, swerving down the highway with glee. The melodies become afterthoughts, but that’s okay when the instrumental is so potent. VERIVERY themselves are up for the challenge, bringing plenty of intensity to the track. There are some vocals in the bridge that are very SHINee-esque. High praise, indeed!