Feature

Best of the B-Sides: Vol.06 (Red Velvet, Boyfriend, Wonder Girls, Da-iCE)

Best of the B-Sides - Vol.06 (Red Velvet, Boyfriend, Wonder Girls, Da-iCE)Longtime readers of The Bias List will know how stingy I am when it comes to rating songs nine and above. But, there’s plenty of music that qualifies. In fact, I’ve got a playlist of over 600 of them sitting in my iTunes. The vast majority of these are singles or title tracks, but there are many b-sides as well.

As a compliment to my Buried Treasures series, I thought it was time to spotlight some of these undervalued gems. Enter, Best of the B-Sides, where I’ll be sharing four non-title tracks that have connected with me in a big way. Korean, Japanese, Chinese… doesn’t matter. Hopefully you’ll find something you like!

Vol.01

Vol.02

Vol.03

Vol.04

Vol.05


Red Velvet – You Better Know

Red Velvet - You Better Know

Year released: 2017

I don’t know why SM Entertainment can’t embrace this kind of straightforward dance music more often. You Better Know is an absolute juggernaut of a song, taking full advantage of Red Velvet’s powerful vocals while offering a galvanizing melody that has stood the sense of time. Few K-pop songs sound this immense. When the album first came out, I chose to write about the (also very good) Zoo, but if I’m being honest this is the b-side I return to most. I mean, just listen to that chorus!

 Hooks 10
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.5


Boyfriend – Soulmate

Boyfriend - Soulmate

Year released: 2012

I’m sold on this song from the first few seconds. That chugging electro beat does something to me, and Soulmate only gets better from there. I often complain about wishy-washy, time-filling verses in K-pop, but there is no moment wasted here. I love the sudden stabs of percussion that keep the structure feeling fresh and spontaneous. And although Soulmate’s chorus is relatively simple, it plays almost like an incantation. Just super, super catchy stuff.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9


Wonder Girls – Candle (ft. Paloalto)

Wonder Girls - Candle

Year released: 2015

Much of Wonder Girls’ epic Reboot album could have fit on this feature, but Candle is my favorite b-side. Its groove recalls the 80’s so perfectly without sounding like a simple pastiche. The breathy vocal – followed by a very memorable rap verse – acts as a one-two punch you won’t soon forget. And then, there’s that chorus! It’s understated but never boring. This song just drips with cool swagger.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.5


Da-iCE – I Got Your Back

Da-iCE - I Got Your Back

Year released: 2016

It’s fun to throw a J-pop b-side into this feature! For those unfamiliar with Da-iCE’s discography, I’d recommend checking it out right away! I Got Your Back is one of my favorite workout songs, mostly because of that mighty beat drop that heralds the chorus. The melody is so well-calibrated here, and I love the swirling synth refrain that echoes the vocal. It’s simple but oh-so-addictive.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.25

6 thoughts on “Best of the B-Sides: Vol.06 (Red Velvet, Boyfriend, Wonder Girls, Da-iCE)

  1. The Red Velvet song felt like the epitome of K-pop trying to do Rihanna and Harris’s We Found Love. It was great then and it remains great. The absolute best RV mini–all bangers until the final ballad.

    Excited to dig into the Boyfriend and WG tracks…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gotta check out the Da-ice song – I’ve been loving their new album Reversi. I got turned on to them when they did the Japanese version of one of the animated movie Turning Red’s songs.

    Like

  3. “Candle” was my favorite b side on my first listen of the album, but I return to “OPPA”, “one black night”, and “이 순간” more

    Like

  4. You Better Know is quite possibly my favorite Red Velvet song. Definitely in the top three. The Red Summer was my favorite of their albums, mini or otherwise. I’m excited to give the rest of these a listen.

    Like

  5. Da-ice has an amazing discography. Their stuff is leagues better now that they guys have a hand in songwriting and composing. Not only are they talented in writing songs, their vocals are top notch. Just take a listen to their appearances on The First Take.

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