Every week, our writers pick their favorite songs and share them. This week, four songs by male Korean acts caught our eyes.
“Get Down” by Boys Republic (March 29)
The title track of Boys Republic’s third mini album, “BR: evolution,” combines a pulsating tribal drum beat and edgy hip hop with unconventional jazz elements. The guys display incredible vocal harmonies alongside fierce and hardcore rapping. It comes as no surprise that “Get Down” was co-produced by renowned songwriter Ryan S. Jhun, who has previously worked with the likes of numerous popular K-pop acts, ranging from EXO to U-KISS. The music video presents a very dark concept, with the band members cast as a rebellious faction in a post-apocalyptic scenario; they are sullen, brooding characters living on a knife edge and the intense choreography highlights their harsh environment perfectly. (It is important to note here that the video has a 19 + rating, as it features bloody decapitation). This new facet to the band could prove disturbing to some fans unused to seeing Boys Republic as anything other than wholesome and appealing but it is a testament to the members’ talent that they are so convincing in their roles. It’s a brilliant comeback by the group, who have upped the ante in every way possible!
“Bad Vibes Lonely (feat. DEAN)” by Dok2 (March 27)
As far as Korean rappers are concerned, Dok2 isn’t among my favorites. His music style and lyrics, for me, come off as a little try-hard and he seems more like a caricature than an actual rapper. With that said, “Bad Vibes Lonely” is a whole other thing. For this release, Dok2 slowed it down and penned more humble lyrics about him wanting to be happy and not forget his roots. Not to mention Dean’s input at the chorus makes the song sound that more compelling. Because even without knowing what the lyrics say, that Dean verse finds it way to your feels. Overall, it’s nice to see Dok2 step away temporarily (because, c’mon, we know that’s not his actual style) from the #YOLO, swaggy, #turnup vibe.
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“First Time” by DAY6 (March 30)
This track is vastly different from DAY6’s title track “Letting Go” in terms of its tone and lyrical content but similar in the high production quality of the song. While DAY6 members have always had a hand in the creation of their albums, this is the first song in which all five members collaborated and wrote the lyrics together, making it extra meaningful. The instruments are also layered very nicely, creating an overall uplifting and full sound in which all the varied vocals of the members are able to shine. It’s an addictive track and stands out amongst the various different styles displayed in this album.
“Excalibur” by N-SONIC (March 29)
N-SONIC’s “Excalibur” is exactly the type of song I would have ignored if it wasn’t for this feature. An unknown boy group with a title linked to mythology. I’ve had enough of that with VIXX alone. “Excalibur” however, is not something to be missed. It contains the most satisfying rolling drums that at first sound like they could come from a 1950s dancehall but are used to drive the electro hip-pop. Sustaining these drums allows the song to transition easily between parts and vocal styles. The choreography also reflects this by having a natural quality to its movements and transitions too (despite silly things like the air drumming). A solid release that is, along with Boys Republic, by far the strongest boy group song of the week, easily beating weak offerings from more popular counterparts.
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“What The Spring??” By 10cm (April 1)
One of the most bittersweet spring-themed songs out there, “What The Spring??” is a comical attack on people who are in love during. The duo’s typical acoustic sound turns into a query of why some people expect perfect springtime relationships, why some people are alone, and why springtime is perceived as the time of love. “Do you think cherry blossoms are pretty, you stupid?” sings 10cm’s vocalist Kwon Jeong Yeol. The song did well on Korean music charts despite the bleak lyrics because the song’s style and the amusing, realistic take a single person’s attitude towards the happiness of couples (“Actually, your boyfriend loves games more than you” is one of the bitterest but bemusing lines of the song.”) The music video, featuring “Little Prince”-inspired graphics, is an added bonus. The anti-romance song, both for its sound and unique opposite to many of the love songs popular in Korea, is one of this year’s most popular springtime Korean songs.
What was your favorite song from the past week? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, and Tumblrto keep up with all of our posts.