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.
Seulgi’s debut mini album blossoms as it goes on. It’s one of those weird little projects that stuffs its best songs into its second half, slowing pulling you in before delivering the knockout punches. In my mind, she deserves a Girls On Top style banger to compliment the subdued sounds we get on 28 Reasons. But, nothing performed by a singer as skilled as Seulgi will ever be boring.
A few years ago, it seemed like the sub-genre of psy-trance might become a “thing” in K-pop. Since then, it’s existed just under the surface without ever taking over as a major trend. But, I’m always pleased to hear it. Los Angeles may be a skeleton of a song, devoid of a traditional chorus. However, it makes up for its simple structure with plenty of atmosphere. Seulgi’s performance is at its most reserved, forgoing big power notes for a more evocative delivery. The song has a cinematic appeal that would benefit greatly from a visual presentation.
Like any great “beat drop” song, Los Angeles expertly builds its verse and pre-chorus. There’s a sense of rising tension right from the start, which makes the electronic centerpiece all the more satisfying. Much of 28 Reasons is filled with pathos, and this feels like the most striking example of that.