Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, 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.
Song for song, ENHYPEN’s debut mini album is perfectly solid. However, I find it odd that they bookend the album with ultra-dramatic intros and outros, only to deliver fairly standard Big Hit style pop in between. It makes for an awkward listen, and has me wondering how carefully thought-out this release was. I’m all for the drama, but I wish it would extend to full songs as well.
With that said, the album’s centerpiece is the fun, bouncy 10 Months. To my ear, it’s the strongest melody the guys have found yet, and would have been equally suited to agency-mates TXT. The track opens with a lounge-like synth that forms the percolating backdrop for most of the instrumental. The verses aren’t particularly exciting, rehashing the kind of offhand refrains we hear so often from modern K-pop boy groups.
However, when 10 Months hits its pre-chorus, we’re treated to a fun little melodic twist that really takes advantage of the song’s serpentine rhythm. The vocals are given that frustrating Big Hit processing we’ve all grown accustomed to, but I think that haziness goes well with 10 Months’ atmospheric style. As straightforward a pop song as this is, it’s got a slight air of mystery that feels right in line with the aesthetic that ENHYPEN are seeming to embrace. A stronger chorus would have put this over the edge, but the unyielding groove scores it bonus points.