Most of the time, a K-pop group's title track is the best song on their album. But sometimes B-sides also deserve credit. In the singles-centric world of K-pop, I want to highlight some of those buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
Leave it to anime to inspire a great 2020 TXT song. The group recently released a Japanese-language version of their drama title for the J-Pop market, and I'm glad it's finally being advertised somewhere. As part of the single, TXT also delivered their first original Japanese track Everlasting Shine, which is the theme of the anime series Black Clover.
The relationship between anime and J-pop has been long and fruitful, often spawning songs that are big and exciting, and seldom committed to trends. Despite the recruitment of Japanese composers, Everlasting Shine feels like a TXT track. But it has a graceful melodic weight that is lacking in much of their Korean work for 2020. Anime themes call for dramatic, stirring melodies, and Everlasting Shine begins with its beautiful chorus. The chorus is underpinned by a strumming guitar and is immediately exciting and unforgettable. The vocal production is still in keeping with Big Hit's mushy, processed style, which is confusing given the switch of producers. But the track's bones are strong.
That strength continues in Shine's verse, which chugs well without unnecessary distractions. True to its K-pop roots, the track breaks down a little while rap slows the tempo in verse two. It's not an unforgivable detour, but it dulls the momentum of the song. Everlasting Shine is better when it embraces the euphoria inherent in its build. This chorus is really very majestic, and effectively draws on TXT's wistful strengths.