B1A4 released their single, “A Lie,” off their ‘Good Timing‘ album yesterday, and I thought it was one of the rare K-pop ballads that was actually well worth my time. However, another track off the album caught my ear as being even better, and “Nightmare” is definitely my favorite off the release.
The reggae-themes are obvious from the get-go, and instead of controlling the tempo with instrumental changes, they use the vocal pacing to accelerate or decelerate. It’s a risky way to go about things because it relies on execution and control, but B1A4 pull it off remarkably well. Without extensive switches in the instrumental, “Nightmare” nails the transitions and the whole thing meshes together seamlessly.
Of particular note for me was the rap verse. It’s difficult for idol rappers to pace themselves and flow within more open-ended instrumental beats, but whoever their rapper is had the perfect tone for this type of track and did his part surprisingly well, switching up his flow throughout his verse to mirror what the vocals are doing. Also, it’s a small thing, but the little break they provide in the middle following the rap where the song goes almost a capella was a nice touch, and it made the instrumental re-entering the track feel impactful even thought it didn’t actually do anything different.
“Nightmare” is just one of those songs to me that has an extremely high replay value that makes me think it’ll hold up over time. I’ve listened to it more than dozen times so far, in no small part because it’s so easy to hit the replay button and just groove to it. It’s not “Don’t Be Shy” — that had everything this does plus diversity in the instrumental — but the fact that I’m even bothering to compare “Nightmare” to one of my favorite K-pop songs in recent years is telling.
‘Good Timing’ Album