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.
DRIPPIN’s first full album is very solid, though many of its up-tempo tracks suffer from the dreaded “second verse slowdown” in a big way. Seriously, I cringed at the awkward transitions in Escape and Utopia. Thankfully, the songs themselves are sturdy enough to overcome this hurdle, and the best track on the album is the showstopping Silence.
At its best, Silence is pure Infinite nostalgia, harnessing the mighty power of The Chaser for its propulsive chorus. This turbo-charged segment is as good as K-pop gets, blazing forward with melodic confidence and idiosyncratic sounds that defy trends in a timeless way. I can’t get enough.
At its worst, Silence holds back. I understand the choice to give the first verse a slow build, and this works well as an emotional set-up. But, the move back to ‘slow’ for the second verse is unforgiveable — a huge missed opportunity to jolt the track to another level of grandness. Even so, I’m willing to wade through the murk to hear that searing guitar pull us back into Silence’s whopper of a chorus. Given the strict templates that K-pop songs seem to operate under these days, it’s hard to hope for something as ambitiously (and consistently) majestic as The Chaser. So, we’ll make do with tracks that push on the edges and give us moments of brilliance. Silence has plenty of these moments, making it a 2022 standout and a constant presence on my playlist.