[#21] BTOB - "Hello"

From: "Beep Beep"
Released: February
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: 2012: [#22] "Stand Up"
Other notable song(s) from 2014: "잘 지내겠죠", "Hello Mello", "Beep Beep"

If I had to choose between ballads and up tempos, readers who are familiar my taste will know that I'd choose up tempos without question. For me there's just so much more you can do with an uptempo, there's so much more room to be innovative, and of course at the end of the day music is something I'd ideally like to enjoy and not get depressed over. But because I really like up tempos, my standards are a lot higher -- more than just a beautiful melody or one key point, the up tempos I listen to need to be well-rounded.

"Hello" is one of those well-rounded up tempos. BTOB have, surprisingly, turned into a group I keep an eye out for -- while I think Cube can do better with their repertoire, "Press Play" remains one of my favorite K-Pop EPs and their "parodies" of "Rising Sun" and "Mirotic" remain one of the most entertaining yet technically-strong versions of such difficult DBSK songs that I've ever heard. They've creeped into my radar, but I'm glad that they have.

"Hello" is probably the most fun song in my Top 50 this year, and it's fitting for a young, jumping-around boy band like BTOB. But at the same time it doesn't relinquish all responsibility of carrying the song to the performance -- the song itself, the musical aspects, make the package as much as the assumed running around stage will. This is a song that, through its very structure, allows for all the fun to be translated into the performance.

The dynamics are very pronounced, and that's another quality I really look for in songs -- for a song to go somewhere, it has to have both highs and lows. Songs are essentially experience, and experiences that are all highs or all lows aren't the ones we remember the most, right? Yet again, it's all a matter of balance -- and translated into something like music that means an arrangement that's aware of its highs and lows. The verses are smooth, "bubbling" with the thumping bass and spunky guitar lines to contrast, whereas the chorus is just an explosion of melody -- what you hear the most during the chorus are the vocals, the dynamics of the instrumental (and the pretty synths) are secondary.

"Hello" is a song you can literally sing AND dance along to -- because it's easy enough to sing along to the chorus, and up-beat enough to jump around your room to. It's extremely well-produced, musical, fun.




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