If you haven’t heard of Carly Rae Jepsen’s magnificent E•MO•TION last year (which should always be written this way btw), then it must have been a sad year for pop music for you.
If you like K-Pop music and you did not give Wonder Girls’ fantastic Reboot a spin, then you probably filled your playlists with songs like Rhythm Ta…
….and it definitely was a sad year for K-Pop for you.
Reboot and E•MO•TION share a lot in common. For one, they’re both flops. E•MO•TION was only heavily promoted in Japan and received minimal promo in the US (where it should’ve been a hit) while Reboot’s title track, the amazing “I Feel You” was moderately successful and didn’t really help elevate Wonder Girls’ sales to the level that it deserves.
Second, both albums received minimal attention from listeners (in general). Reboot’s consistent retro sound flew over the heads of younger oppa-thirsty K-pop fans while E•MO•TION was unjustly snubbed by the Grammys for some lame album called 1989 or something.
That is why for The Bingsoo’s Choice Cuts Throwback (cheesy, I know lol), we’ll give the spotlight to these two pop music gems just because they deserved to be played more than what you’re stanning now.
Choice Cuts from Reboot
If my memory serves me right, Reboot is the most consistent and committed album ever put out by any K-Pop act. Committed in a sense that it literally stuck to a theme and worked the hell out of it. The album really tried to avoid any attempt to integrate any modernized touch to it which is a great test in restraint especially for a group whose industry thrives in a “monster hook”. Some Hallyu EPs or LPs may feature a retro-tinged title track but is then followed by some standard pop fare or a generic Korean ballad. In Reboot, even the obligatory slow jams sound like they’re ripped off from JYP’s first album. That’s how faithful the album is.
I Feel You – is the matured version of WG’s past retro-inspired hits, like a libido-driven remix of 2 Different Tears. What made this song more perfect is that it was coupled with the group’s rebranding to an actual band so they get to perform this song with their instruments and all.
Baby Don’t Play – reminds me of a citypop track from the intro alone. I love me some citypop so this is an instant favorite.
Candle (featuring Paloalto) – sounds like it was ripped off the playlist of roller disco which is lit af.
Oppa – strangely reminds me of The Offspring’s Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) but its 90s-inspired hip-hop beat is such a delight to listen to. Check out the weird trap breakdown in the middle.
Gone – Reboot’s other ballad, Remember, sounds like the ending theme for a cheesy romantic movie from 1985 which is awesome but it’s the sensual “Gone” that stands out more.
Choice Cuts from E•MO•TION
The Almighty CRJ has released certified earworms post-Call Me Maybe (which are of great quality) but it was often dismissed as standard pop radio fodders (This Kiss was amazing, for the record). Like Reboot, what makes E•MO•TION outstanding is how committed it is to the musical style/era. One could pinpoint that as a reason why the tracks from this album didn’t break the market ala Call Me Maybe (even the most commercial “I Really Like You” peaked at No. 39).
Run Away With Me – I mean, who doesn’t love this one heck of a song?
Emotion – and this one as well?
All That – I read that Dev Hynes worked on this track and that guy is responsible for Solange’s Losing You, another great retro ditty. The piano, the deep drums, the guitars – they all scream 80s!
Favourite Colour – should have been added to St. Elmo’s Fire’s OST or something lol.
I Didn’t Just Come Here To Dance – should be added to all playlists across all bars worldwide!
What are your thoughts on Reboot and E•MO•TION? Any other slept tracks/albums from last year that you think deserve better recognition? Drop a comment and let’s talk about it.