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.
CSR have released one of the year’s strongest debut albums. Nothing on Sequence 7272 is innovative or artistically evocative. That’s not the point. What makes it exciting is that it’s not just a pick-and-mix of trendy K-pop styles. The group know what concept they’re targeting and offer five variations of that sound. Whether these songs are in your wheelhouse will depend on your musical preferences, but at least we have a sense of who CSR are and where they see themselves slotting within the industry.
All five songs offer the light, melodic style put forth by title track Pop? Pop!. I think Pop? Pop! is the strongest of the bunch and the rightful choice for promotion, but I can’t move on from this album without writing about the Sweetune-produced song. The Bias List just wouldn’t be The Bias List without doing so! This is the fourth original Sweetune track we’ve heard in 2022, though the individual producers have been involved with other music as well. Let’s keep this trend going and score some more idol-fronted singles before the year’s end!
I don’t think Euratcha (으랏차) is top-tier Sweetune, though its chorus approaches that hallowed ground. The verses are a bit too cutesy-conversational in places, but they have a nice, synth-painted groove that keeps the energy brisk and bright. It’s when that patented Sweetune vocal layering emerges during the hook that Euratcha truly takes flight. It’s an overwhelming sound – “pop” with a capital “P.” It’s sunshine in a bottle, buoyant and affirming enough to break the biggest cynic. Imagine what these producers could do with a big-name title track in 2022! It really is my biggest (and seemingly most elusive) K-pop wish.