What is Inside the Music?
This is a series I created to inform people about non-title tracks of groups that they may be interested in. Basically, it is me making suggestions on songs that aren't so easily consumed without some research or buying the album (which you wouldn't do if you didn't know if you liked the group). Depending on the length of each artist's discography, the number of songs recommended will range from 3-15 most likely but that isn't set in stone (especially if a group has a ton of albums). Also, this is heavily based on my tastes which could vary from yours cause we are all human and like different stuff, but I try to describe the style of song so that you get the vibes of what your getting into and if it is something you can get behind.
Who are we highlighting today?
Meet the boy group BtoB, which stands for Born to Beat. They are a seven member k-pop group under Cube Entertainment which consists of Eunkwang, Minhyuk, Changsub, Hyunsik, Peniel, Ilhoon, and Sungjae. They debuted in 2012 with Insane and have had 14 singles in total:
비밀 (Insane), 아버지 (Father), 그 입술을 뺏었어 (Irresistible Lips) [Born To Beat, Born to Beat Asia Special Edition]
WOW, 사랑밖에 난 몰라 (I Only Know Love) [Press Play]
2nd Confession (single album)
내가 니 남자였을 때 (When I Was Your Man), 스릴러 (Thriller) [Thriller]
뛰뛰빵빵 (Beep Beep) [Beep Beep]
감동이야 (You're So Fly) [Move]
울어도 돼 (You Can Cry), 울면 안 돼 (The Winter's Tale) [The Winter's Tale]
괜찮아요 (It's Okay) [Complete]
집으로 가는 길 (Way Back Home) [I Mean]
*in bold is the album the song was featured on
My Familiarity Level: 10/10
I am a Melody, I adore the boys of BtoB so much, and I swoon at their voices every time I hear them. So, for this I tried to be as unswayed as possible. I would like to disclaimer in saying that I enjoy all of their music, but I tried to pick a variety of styles showing their diversity, and also showing their evolution of styles since they debuted. Now, I cannot say I am remained 100% unbiased (and I do kind of cheat because this was really hard to not pick all of the songs), so if I am gushing over a certain nerdy voiced English speaker and how well he speaks at the beginning/end of a song, I apologize, it can't be helped.
Below are the non-titles that stuck out to me:
Album: Born To Beat
This song has a slower, simplistic beat with a slow jazzy groove. It is a pop song that highlights the unbelievable vocals of BtoB. That is really the true talent of BtoB, their voices. During the beginning of their career, they didn't focus on their vocal power as much and that is why I think they didn't explode right away (also they debuted at a really difficult time competition wise, and their style hasn't been consistent). But in this song, from their very first album, it shows the deep tone of most of the singers and the expanse in which each of those voices can reach.
If you like slow pop ballads and power vocals, this song might be for you.
Monday To Sunday
Album: Born to Beat
This is also from the first album, but shows a much different side to the vocals. This is a very sweet, precious pop song that isn't too difficult vocally and definitely is easy listening. The background is just simplistic beats and keyboard generated sounds with a slight guitar throughout the majority of the tune. Now does this song fully tap into the potential that BtoB holds with their vocals? Not at all, although Eunkwang gets some good high notes at the end. But I adore sweet, fluff and that is why this one woos me. Also fun note, it played all throughout their first tv show they did. So if you decide you want to learn more about them, you'll heard it a ton there.
If you like straight fluffy pop, this might be for you.
Okay, so if you know me at all, you know I am a B2TY (or a fan of Beast, label mates of BtoB). This song was written by Beast's Lee KiKwang, and BtoB's Hyunsik, Minhyuk, Peniel, and Ilhoon also helped him with the music (Hyunsik with lyrics also). Now, I am a sucker for songs that the members of BtoB work on, and you will definitely see that later on. But KiKwang gave them something they desperately needed: a smooth RnB style. This is the sound they should have tapped in first, and it suits their deep thick vocals extremely well. The song has a smooth steady beat with an acoustic guitar throughout, and the chorus is quite catchy. The rappers are also highlighted extremely well, and Peniel busts out the SAT words in his rap.
If you like pleading RnB vibes, this might be for you.
This is a simple acoustic ballad with sweet vocals really showing the higher register of Eunkwang and Changsub (although Hyunsik's milky deep voice is really gorgeous here). I personally love the lowkey raps here, and Minhyuk shows off his personal style in which he slightly sing raps while showcasing his rasp and deeper voice. If you liked the two most recent title tracks that were more slow, RnB vibes, this one will probably be something you want to check out. It's a little sweeter, a bit poppier, but still holds true to their newer sound (and most successful sound). Also Hyunsik, Minhyuk, and Ilhoon wrote the music and Hyunsik wrote the lyrics (those three are the ones you'll generally see having their hands with production and creation of music).
If you like the newer BtoB title tracks and ballads, this one might be for you.
Hello Mello/끝나지 않을 (Melody) [Endless (Melody)]
Album: Beep Beep
Round one of me finding ways to cheat and add as many songs as I can. During their 2014 releases, each of their mini albums had a rap track (Minhyuk, Peniel, Ilhoon) and a vocal track (Eunkwang, Changsub, Hyunsik, Sungjae) and so I thought that I would include those two tracks together from Beep Beep because I love them both and I do what I want. Hello Mello is the rap track and it is playful and upbeat with a super catchy hook that gets in your head forever. The music and lyrics were written by Ilhoon and Minhyuk. Any vocals you hear in that song, such as the notes belted at the end in the back are done by rapper Minhyuk who also has a gorgeous singing voice. Endless (Melody) features literally my favorite style for Changsub's vocals. The song features a sexy guitar in the back, and builds in depth as each vocal comes in. Definitely something you want to listen to if you enjoy talented voices. Hyunsik, Eunkwang, and Changsub did music and lyrics.
If you enjoy playful and upbeat rap tunes, Hello Mello may be for you.
If you enjoy sexy guitars and vocal focus, Endless (Melody) may be for you.
넌 나의 천사 (feat. JOO) [You're My Angel]
So I only chose the rap line song off this album mainly because I'm picking way too many songs (you can see the vocal line song in honorable mention) but also I picked this song because it shows yet another side of BtoB's styles. This song has much more of a hip hop vibe than the last more poppy rap line song, and also shows a much more mature feel. The style really suits Ilhoon's voice and personal style, and we see Minhyuk using his singing/rapping rasp again which I always really enjoy. Ilhoon created the music, and Joo, the female singer with a gorgeous soft higher voice, is Ilhoon's older sister.
If you like a more mature soft hip hop sound, this might be for you.
한 모금 (One Sip)
Album: The Winter's Tale
From, my personal opinion, their most successful 2014 album, BtoB was able to show off their really stellar vocals and their ability to take a slower lounge-y RnB song and make it really accessible to a wide audience. One Sip was produced and written by GOOD LIFE, which consists of Beast's Yong Junhyung and his friend Kim Tae Joo. What I love about this song is that you could tell JunHyung was relishing in the fact he had so many good vocals to use because the vocalization in this song is really at a difficult level. The song is lowkey musically, letting the vocals carry the weight. The groove of the song had a Beast like quality, since GOOD LIFE writes most of Beast's music nowadays, but you can tell they were thoughtful to the deeper qualities of the BtoB vocals. AND, personally, I am really happy that Peniel had an actual part and not just a random English line.
If you like Beast, or if you like a slow groove, this might be for you.
Complete-The Entire Album
OKAY OKAY OKAY. You might be saying, "Bailey, you are taking the cheating to a whole new level with including an entire album. Aren't you suppose to be narrowing the field for me so I'm not overwhelmed?" Well, yes I am. But listen: If you are going to listen to BtoB, listen to this album first. You may want to go in order, and I understand that, but this album is what signifies their shift into the style they are settled into, a ballad, RnB groove, AND many of the songs on this album were touched on by the members of BtoB. I will give you some direction obviously, not just going to throw you into a full 13 track album without a guide.
My personal favorites:
너나 잘 살아 (Live Well Yourself)
꽃보다 그녀 (Her Over Flowers)
보고파 (I Miss You)
Live Well Yourself and Her Over Flowers are very sweet songs that just fit my personal style really well. I Miss You was done entirely by Hyunsik and is incredible. Open was written mostly by Minhyuk and really lets the voices shine.
More Upbeat Groovy Tracks:
북 치고 장구 치고 (One Man Show)
친구의 여자친구 (My Friend's Girlfriend)
어기여차 디여차 (Yo-Ho-Ho)
These aren't necessarily my style, but the boys really enjoy doing this cheeky, upbeat sound. I think this is the kind of music that the boys like to play with, but it isn't quite successful on the charts when they use them as singles. Shake It was a bonus disco track created by Ilhoon and Hyunsik that was included on the standard tracklist here. One Man Show is a bit of a mess musically, but features an adorable Peniel doing his thing. My Friend's Girlfriend samples their hit single Wow, and remasters it really well. Yo Ho Ho is just high energy and fun.
Album: I Mean
This is my favorite off their latest mini, and it starts off with a brilliant lowkey rap by Ilhoon that just really paints a relaxed image. The song has a light guitar riff in the back mixed with computer generated sounds that would be extremely off putting to me if they were any louder. This song has a hip hop groove, and just has really good vibes from the rappers to me. Once again, Minhyuk impresses the crap out of me with his rap style that blends his deep voice singing and his deep voices rapping rather flawlessly. The chorus is melancholic sounding with smooth vocals.
If you like skater vibes in your hip-hop, this might be for you.
BONUS: I Will Be Your Melody
The boys wrapped S.3 of the I Will Be Your Melody project, in which each boy goes into the studio and records either a cover or original piece for the fans. They are really quite good, so I am going to include three of my favorites if you are interested.
1.) S.2 Hyunsik - If By Chance...
2.) S.2 Ilhoon - If I Die Tomorrow
3.) S.3 Minhyuk - Wash Away
I do recommend you watching them all tho.
So what have we learned?
That I need to calm down because I love BtoB too much. No, but their style has been all over the place since they debuted but what suits they really well is slower RnB, while they still have more upbeat pop tracks on the albums and sweet fan songs. I am a sucker for these boys voices and am really excited to see what they do in the future because I'll support them for a long time.
Woo, that was long wasn't it?This is much more intense when the discography is longer and when I am hella passionate about the group. Hopefully ya'll enjoyed BtoB!
What are your favorite non-title or title tracks by BtoB?
Do you agree/disagree with my choices?
Honorable Mention: Ello Ello, Happening, Stand Up, I Don't Know, Drink!
Thank you guys for dealing with this really longwinded card.
*none of the videos/photos above are mine, and I apologize if any of my facts are wrong
ALSO PLEASE SUPPORT THEM IN THEIR COMEBACK ON THE 28TH!
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