[#46] Teen Top - "Why"

From: "No. 1"
Released: February
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: First Appearance
Other notable song(s) from 2013: "Never Go Back", "Mad At U"

Teen Top debuted at around the same time as Infinite, and I've always been on team Infinite. Looking at them now I don't think it's a matter of who the better group is -- I liked Infinite's material better then, and I still like it now. So while Infinite have performed very, very well on my Best Of lists (they've been on the countdown since they debuted in 2010, and "The Chaser" was last year's #1 song), I'm not completely surprised that this is Teen Top's first appearance ever on the countdown.

"Why" is essentially Teen Top I can stomach. Most of the time their vocals create too much friction in the song -- songs like "향수 뿌리지마" end up sounding shrill, songs like "Supa Luv" are processed to death, and "To You" sounded like every other Brave Brothers song that year. I had been waiting for a song that would embrace the tongue-in-cheek nature of their vocals instead of one that made everyone sound like they were screeching their way through. And I found it in "Why."

The shrill quality of their vocals is still there, but instead of fighting the other elements, it's what ties everything together. There's so much happening in the background -- all these synth lines and a very imposing and confident drum line -- and the structure of the song itself gives off a sense of chaos, but add in tongue-in-cheek quality that Teen Top have and you have a strong, well-done song. "Why" has a mischievous, slightly "retro" boy band sound to it, and I think the need for this half-whiny and playful, half-serious approach fits Teen Top well. Everything sounds so effortlessly fun, the way it should, which I personally think fits Teen Top much better than stuff like "To You."

Surprisingly as well, I don't mind the rap parts. If you've been with me for long enough, you know that I'm not a rap person because I was never really exposed to it growing up, so I don't consciously look out for it. But I understand the significance of the rap part here, and why the song needs it. The rap part is basically what emphasizes that fine line between playful and serious that the song straddles so well, and without it the melodic parts wouldn't work as well as they do. "Why" isn't without some really pretty moments though, one of which is the melody of the chorus. It's another well-done break from the long rap parts and the slightly obnoxious (in a good way!) hook -- it's the part we can all sing along to while we dance around the room to it.


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