With December rapidly approaching, and with year-end award shows and gayos already underway as we move closer and closer to year’s end, it’s time to prepare ourselves and reflect on the year that was 2013.
Oftentimes, an artist’s promoted single may not live up to one of the less promoted songs on the album, and this is the very reason why our writers bring some of these songs to the surface via our Side-B segment. Whether it was buried between filler tracks on a full album or overshadowed by a heavily promoted track on a single or mini, a good side-B is a song that makes us feel like it didn’t get the promotional justice it deserved and thus it never had the chance to be in the spotlight. What are some of your favorite non-promoted or under-promoted tracks of this past year?
Shweta: B-Sides are really the bane of my K-pop existence. I always seem to love them more than the promoted tracks. My list of favorite B-sides this year is pretty long, but here are a couple that may slip under the radar due to the sheer visibility of the titles.
Lindsay: There is no doubt that this has been a good year for b-sides. A few of my favorites were:
Vixx – “Say Love”
From their Jekyll repackage, this song was fun and cute. The beat is infectious and always puts me in a good mood.
Shinee – “Symptoms”
Ok, if you don’t think this is one of the most genius SHINee songs to come out in years, well, I just don’t know what to say. This is now possibly one of my favorite songs of all time.
Teen Top – “Rock Star”
I’m surprised I even like this song, considering CAP‘s history with rap tracks, but I actually find this song addictive and fun. Hats off to you, CAP and L.Joe.
K.Will – “Marry Me”
This song is pretty self explanatory. It makes me want to play in the sunshine, holding hands with someone, looking into each other’s eyes. Gross, sappy, and corny, I just can’t get enough of this track.
B.A.P – “Excuse Me”
It is almost impossible to like a b-side from the Badman album since they released MVs for three tracks. That being said, this song really appealed to me, more than the album actually, especially Youngjae‘s part which has an awesome melody to it.
Ambika: I’m definitely seconding Shinee’s “Like a Fire” and “Symptoms” but would also like to add “One Minute Back,” “Excuse Me Miss,” “Orgel,” “Nightmare,” and almost every song on The Misconceptions of Me but the title track.
Some others of the year but not all of them are f(x)‘s “Toy” and “No More,” Exo’s “Don’t Go” and “Heart Attack,” Brown Eyed Girls‘ “After Club,” Jaejoong’s “Modem Beat” and “Luvholic” featuring Ha Dong-gyun, Kahi‘s “Sinister” featuring Bekah, Seungri‘s “Come to My” and “Love Box,” and most recently, FT Island‘s “Can’t Have You.”
Shweta: The amazing thing about great B-sides is that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I didn’t like “Luvholic” at all.
I also have to second “Toy,” basically all of Misconceptions of You, and then tack on “Ending Page” from Pink Tape. 2PM‘s “Back To Square One” and Shinhwa‘s “That’s Right” would also be good additions.
Ambika: This is great because I didn’t like “Rotten Love” much. Maybe it’s just Jaejoong’s songs that we disagree on.
Shweta: Number one sign of a good album: nobody agrees on the best song.
Amy: I am SO MAD that Shinee promoted the craptastic “Everybody” over “Symptoms.”
Shweta: I’m far more bitter about “Why So Serious?” over pretty much everything in that album. At least Shinee performed “Symptoms.”
Ambika: I’m on board with Shweta. “Everybody” is at least still visually stimulating but “Why So Serious?” was not only so much poorer in sound but also not captivating on stage, especially in retrospect when sandwiched between “Dream Girl” and “Everybody.”
Laverne: Definitely have to second Shinee’s “Like a Fire” and Vixx’s “Say Love.”
Mark: I liked all of Ailee’s A’s Doll House but, I agree, “Rainy Day” is the best song on the track. Ailee’s ad-libs are superb and what makes the song go from good to great!
Adding to the Jaejoong debate on the best song on WWW, other than the title track, I really liked “Don’t Walk Away” featuring Junhyung. The rapper’s verse definitely makes the song for me. I like the part where he rhymes in English and it was actually kind of clever!
As for Teen Top, the saxophone beat alone on “Don’t I” makes it quite a catchy listen. The live performance was bearable but certainly doesn’t do the song justice:
Another lightly promoted b-side that I think is overlooked is Trouble Maker‘s “Attention.” Again, it’s the beat that makes the song but the theatrical live performance on this one enhances the song tremendously:
My other favs from this year:
Fannie: IU‘s Modern Times album was quality (and a breath of fresh air!), start to finish. There are many to choose from but “Bad Day” was a particular favorite of mine.
Some other picks would be Seungri’s “Love Box,” f(x)’s “Shadow,” and Kahi’s “Boys & Girls” (feat. Swings).
Pat: Like the others, I’m also in love with Shinee’s “Like a Fire.” Other b-sides I love are IU’s “Obliviate” and “Depression Clock,” VIXX’s “I Don’t Want to be an Idol” and “Secret Night” (Someone please get Ravi a girl. The last time I heard something so desperate was Dongwoo‘s self-written rap for “Paradise”), BTOB‘s “Star,” Block B’s “Nice Day,” Infinite‘s “Going to You,” and their version of Sung-gyu‘s “60 seconds.”
Kelsey: Some of my favorite B-sides were from f(x)’s album, but my go-to tracks are definitely “Goodbye Summer (feat. D.O.),” “Shadow,” and “Airplane.”
Nicholas: Might be a bit of an odd one here, but for me the SNSD b-sides on its Japanese releases always do it for me. They are the pleasant sounding, easily accepted songs that always win out the titles, which just seem to just be generic tunes unable to convert anybody that has not loved SNSD yet.
On the other hand, while I did not like I Got A Boy as an album, I was reasonably taken with the Taeyeon & Tiffany duet, “Lost In Love.” Yes, I know it is another ballad, but the vocal quality more than makes up for that.