Back with some of my favorite songs of March. Laidback vibes were the theme this month that didn’t have that many great releases. However, the top 2 tracks are the opposite with ITZY’s continuing dominance and CRAXY’s great debut. Enjoy and be prepared for April’s batch of songs coming soon!
ITZY - Wannabe
Often imitated, but never replicated, ITZY’s sound is back and Wannabe definitely lived up to the huge expectations. A pulsating groove perfect for strutting starts off the song with attitude. I love ITZY’s performance as it gives the bright tone without the aegyo chirpiness. This is quintessential ITZY. The song is extremely catchy and gets better every listen. I was blown away by the dance break with an instrumental stuffed to the breaking point before exploding in the final chorus.
CRAXY - Aria
The first listen of Aria, I was on the edge of my seat because of the constant changing of musical sections. The chorus comes in very briefly a minute in before veering in a different direction. I enjoy the use of traditional instruments throughout the song. The bridge is jarring at first as it throws traditional song structure out the window, but the explosive climax ties it all together ending on a high.
ONEUS - A Song Written Easily
A Song Written Easily harkens back to the tropical EDM sound that took over 2019. The song rests on the catchy melody that is found in the chorus and in the instrumental. Vocally, ONEUS are able to showcase their smooth, polished vocals which also provide a calming vibe. A refreshing vibe will only improve the appeal of the song as time goes on.
Victon - Howling
Howling’s strongest point is the chorus. It is what keeps me coming back for more. Although generic sounding with its muted synths and percussion, the hook’s energy is reminiscent of the angsty energy from the second generation of boy groups. The verses, on the other hand, are less successful as they seem as if they are just making way for the chorus. However, this is the best moody trap boy song of the year.
Yezi - Home
Yezi returns with another track one month removed from her last solo release. Home is the old EDM anthem type of song that I love. The song hit the nostalgic spot I had for this type of song with its beat and positive energy. Yezi’s vocals bring life to an otherwise generic song. The high and soft tones are perfectly placed throughout the song.
Ong Seong Wu - Gravity
Seong Wu’s Gravity is an airy, atmospheric track. The tension is palpable throughout the song thanks to Seong Wu’s performance. The cathartic hook makes the song a solid albeit generic pop song. Gravity does a good job showcasing Seong Wu’s vocal abilities as he was known as a strong dancer during Wanna One’s stint. The song doesn’t push any boundaries, but is a pleasant emotion-filled pop track.
AleXa - Do Or Die
AleXa has gotten a lot of attention thanks to her journey in the k-pop industry. AleXa’s charisma draws you in from the start.The verses are similar to those you might find in BLACKPINK or ITZY’s repertoire with its attitude-dirven verses. At its best moments, the instrumental explodes with throbbing percussions with its Brazilian influence. The final moments are the most intense with filtered vocals and a new instrumental. To get the most out of the song, the music video must be watched while listening.
Kang Daniel - 2U
2U is a subdued r&b track that rests on its groove. Daniel’s performance is laid-back and smooth with its airy layered vocals. I love how the chorus easily the best part with its carefree vibe slowly becoming more addictive with each repetition. Even though the song is very straightforward, it is oddly stimulating and enjoyable. A perfect song to relax to.
Kim Sejeong - Plant (화분)
Before we begin, Jellyfish Entertainment, can we please have a Gugudan comeback. A Kim Sejeong ballad, Plant takes advantage of all of Sejeong’s strengths with her amazing vocals. A dreamy, gentle piano-driven song that provides that warm and comforting hug during this global pandemic. The song won’t blow you away, but the fragility is what gives the song its appeal. There are no dynamic changes or that power note, but the song’s power comes from switching between subdued verses and soft choruses with her angelic falsetto.
Suho - Let’s Love (사랑, 하자)
Another relaxing mid-tempo ballad courtesy of Suho of EXO. Let’s Love gives off a Coldplay vibe from their earlier days with the guitar line. The instant I heard the instrumental, I was hit with a nostalgia wave. A pleasant melody perfect for those early mornings. The guitar reaches its highest point during the ending moments creating a pensive aesthetic. It’s not the greatest song at a technical level, but vibes are just perfect for those chill times.
Stray Kids - On Track (바보라도 알아)
On Track provides just enough content to tide fans over until their next comeback. It isn’t as bombastic as their best tracks, but is still a decent track. On Track is a subdued track reminiscent of hip-hop ballads from YG Entertainment. The layered vocals in the chorus giving it an anthemic quality. The bridge provides a nice sense of urgency that the song needed with its percussion, however I can without the constant trap hi-hats. Another laidback song, that I can enjoy while driving.
NCT 127 - Kick It (영웅)
Kick It is a departure from their recent melodic material, going with a hard-hitting hip-hop approach. Compared to their other songs of a similar style, Kick It is catchier and more approachable. I don’t usually enjoy hard-hitting hip-hop tracks, but the chorus is memorable. I can do without the Bruce Lee’s and new thangs, but the song is loud and in your face at the best moments. The bridge had everything in it with warped instrumentals that provided the unhinged energy that made the track a must listen.