[Review] BIGFLO go with something refined in “Upside Down” and it works wonders

After eighteen months away, boy group BIGFLO is back with renewed energy. Main dancer Euijin finished in second place during KBS’s “The Unit, garnering attention through his promotions with project group UNB. And BIGFLO is an act in desperate need of attention. Their last few comebacks have stalled on the charts, putting them in real danger of increased obscurity.

One of the reasons this summer of K-pop has felt so underwhelming for me is the lack of legacy producers. New blood is all well and good, but it’s always a treat to hear material from the architects of modern K-pop’s sound. “Upside Down” is co-composed by the legendary Brave Brothers, and it has his synth-drenched, retro-funk touch all over it. Abandoning the harder-edged posturing of their past work, the song paints BIGFLO with a refined pop brush. They’re all the better for it.

“Upside Down” kicks right into gear with a classic K-pop groove, fusing a gurgling synth loop with an insistent beat that gives the song plenty of drive. The verses are largely set-up for what’s to come, but have a slinky appeal as the vocals wind their way around the production. This culminates in an absolutely dynamite chorus. Its circuitous melody is Brave Brothers through and through, and strongly recalls much of his past work. But in a tropical/EDM/trap climate, this sense of funk pop songcraft stands out. I love how the instrumental briefly drops out before punching back in for this hook. The rhythm guitar and harmony filled dance breakdown is also a treat, and builds to series of fake-out moments where “Upside Down” roars back to life just when you think it’s down for the count. Hopefully, the same can happen for BIGFLO.

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