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.
Seventeen’s newest album maintains the strength of their discography, even if its singles are a mixed bag. At only nine (short) tracks, it lacks the heft that characterizes most full albums, and its biggest strengths lie between track three and six. I could have chosen any of these songs to write about (March nearly nabbed the honor), but after a week I’ve settled on Domino simply because it sounds the most like summer.
Tons of boy groups are peddling this sort of slinky bass hook, but most of their songs lose energy and momentum when the bass gets going. Domino is smart to shift this trend. The first part of its chorus feels like your standard beat drop placeholder, but the percussion soon speeds as guitar joins the arrangement. This echoes the structure of the verses, which almost feel like call-and-response. A hesitant melody is answered by a soaring refrain that really opens up the track.
This constant push and pull makes Domino a real treat. Its hooks aren’t as sharp or rollicking as Seventeen’s best work, but the arrangement is tight and exciting. The track gains renewed life during its final minute, as that aforementioned guitar becomes a bigger part of the mix after a glitchy breakdown. Domino even embraces elements of complextro here – a genre I’d love to see more K-pop acts attempt.