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.
According to Xiumin, Feedback was considered as a title track. Brand New ultimately won out, and the song has grown on me a bit. But, Feedback feels like the more instantly impactful choice. It also harnesses the retro theme he’s aiming for on the album.
Feedback explodes right out of the gate, letting a boisterous exclamation sweep us into its jagged beat. At first, it seems as if the track may be too enthusiastic for its own good, but the groove quickly settles in and we’re left with a banger that feels vaguely nostalgic without becoming a pastiche. The rhythm will get you out of your seat and sounds especially great in the car. It’s like a fuller, more modern take on The Neptunes’ omnipresent, early 2000’s sound. This era is ripe for reinvention and SM’s slate of artists are perfectly matched to the challenge.
As you might expect, Feedback is all about this groove. Its verses and chorus are serviceable, but wouldn’t be much without the percussion that pushes them forward. Thankfully, Xiumin is matched perfectly to this style. The track gives him plenty of opportunity to inject personality, and his amiable performance goes a long way toward selling the vibe. If we couldn’t get this as a title track, could we at least make it a fun follow-up on music shows? Something tells me it would improve even more with choreo.