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.
I’m a little late in posting this one, but it’s been a busy few weeks in K-pop! Despite a big concept switch, Tempest have been very successful with their newest comeback. Once I stopped pretending Dragon didn’t exist, I realized it’s not as awful as I’d first suspected. The “chorus” is still a big bummer (it sounds like that “Annyeong Cleopatra” game idols often play on variety…), but there are definitely some highlights during the verses and pre-chorus.
With this said, I would much prefer that Tempest lean toward the sound of b-side Raise Me Up for future comebacks. It’s the strongest track on the album and matures their style just a bit while retaining the bright, synth-powered charm of a song like Can’t Stop Shining.
While the production is still a bit fitful for my taste, Raise Me Up is at its best when it embraces a surging energy. The chorus highlights this best, propelling forward as the guys offer an equally powerful melody. I love how the main and backing vocals interact here. The asides and embellishments and almost catchier than the actual refrain. I’m not sure Raise Me Up would make a very memorable title track, but it hints at the kind of group Tempest could be if they focus on developing a signature sound rather than sampling a variety of boy group tropes that may or may not fit their strengths.