A K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. 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.

If I’m posting a “buried treasure” mere hours after an album release, you know I’ve got something good! ATEEZ’s Guerrilla is a solid, shouty boy group track. But in 2022, I’ve become so tired of this sound. Given the group’s massive potential, it’s hard not to feel a tinge of “what might have been…?”. To put it another way, I hold ATEEZ up as “song of the year” candidates. Anything less has the potential for disappointment. It’s my fault, I know. But the thing is, the new album actually has a SOTY candidate. Imagine a world where the guys promote Cyberpunk and usher in a whole new era of K-pop trends!

The Edenary production team have a history of composing these awesome techno songs, only to bury them on an album promoted by a more typical title track (just ask Dreamcatcher). I keep waiting for these groups to finally take the leap and break the mold. Cyberpunk would have been the track to do it. It sounds like an obvious single, fully formed in its own right, yet perfectly suited to dynamic visuals and choreo. Best of all, it has an actual chorus melody that takes advantage of the guys’ strong vocals.

Cyberpunk feels like last year’s Take Me Home on steroids. It lacks that song’s epic climax, but makes up for it with a breakneck pace and thrilling electro crunch. It’s catchy and memorable from the start, but not in a way that relies on cheap gimmicks or catchphrasey chants. We’ve got all the expected ATEEZ elements, co-existing in a taut arrangement that never loses momentum. It just works.

So hear me out, KQ… there’s still time! With your million+ album preorders, I’m sure you’ve got the funds for a second music video. Let’s not make this a Take Me Home situation all over again!

Hooks 9
Production 10
Longevity 9
Bias 9
RATING 9.25

Beatsway

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Publisher: Nick