B-Side Spotlight: November 2020

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Hello, and welcome to the longest ever Idol B-Side playlist I have ever done. I don’t know what it has been about the last few months that has resulted in tons and tons and tons (and tons) of idol releases, but it has at times been hard to keep track of everything coming out. But, without further delay, let’s go!

GFRIEND – “GRWM”

The title for this track is very apt, because it does sound like the kind of thing you’d put on to get ready for an evening out. Of course, not many of us are doing that this year, but the energy is very much appreciated.

Taemin – “Heaven”

I included this song in my Taemin playlist which came out earlier this month, but for anyone who didn’t see that one I’ll say what I’ll paraphrase myself: I fell in love with this song right away because it is PEAK Taemin melodrama and that’s the shit I like. 10/10 would sad bop to it.

STAYC – “LIKE THIS”

For anyone who reads both my monthly playlists, you will notice that I have included both tracks on STAYC’s debut single in both of them. For total rookies they’ve impressed me a lot, and I very much look forward to more from them.

MONSTA X – “Sorry I’m Not Sorry”

I cannot in good faith say that this is my favourite song on this playlist (because Taemin), but the competition is VERY close. It’s so sweet sounding but actually…pretty furious. “Sorry I’m not sorry / I never wanna see you again” is ICE. COLD. I love it.

WOODZ – “On my own”

I continue to be pleased for WOODZ finally having what seems to be a solid solo career, after the ups and downs of groups he’s been in and TWO previous incarnations as a solo artist. Good for you, Woodz, I like you a lot.

MOMOLAND – “Merry Go Round”

11/10, cute as fuck.

Henry (ft. pH-1) – “HANDS UP”

I sometimes struggle with Henry’s music, because it often feels to me that the style he goes for isn’t quite backed up by his voice. That is not the case at ALL here, however, because I think his voice fits really well with something more upbeat and fun – plus I really like pH-1 as an artist.

AB6IX – “BLOOM”

…and the award for my favourite AB6IX song goes to this one for absolutely slapping.

BXK – “NOYB” 

So I realise this song has an MV, but in fairness these kids are brand new and only have two songs as it is. I think this song could have used some work, but I’ve lost a lot of rookie groups who deserved better over the years and at this point I have no doubt that BXK can and will bring more to the table.

MAMAMOO – “Chuck”

I think Mamamoo are at their best when they are putting their powerful vocals behind a song like this, where the lyrics are clearly angry and Absolutely Done with a situation. 

PARK JIHOON (ft. punchnello) – “DRESS CODE”

I really enjoyed Park Jihoon’s most recent album, and I had a hard time picking between this song and “Hit It Off”. What eventually made me decide was that I will love anything that punchnello features on (hi again, anyone who reads both playlists).

BOL4 – “Red Lipstick” 

This really stretches the definition of “B-Side” by…not actually being one at all. Whoops? Sorry, I’m not sorry.

SECRET NUMBER – “PRIVACY”

This is one of those occasions where I wish a b-side was the promoted track, but you can’t always get what you want. 

TREASURE – “ORANGE”

The Lionel Richie-esque drum machine is kind of hilarious but I would be lying if I said it didn’t make me like this song more. Very charming, thanks Treasure.

K/DA – “THE BADDEST”

This whole mini was tricky for me to include on the basis that K/DA aren’t a “real” group, and only half the members doing the voices are actual k-pop idols. But I feel like it counts, so…I’m wildly into this whole mini, and this track in particular (it’s already at the top of my On Repeat playlist).

HA SUNGWOON – “Candle light”

Nice vocals, sweet melody, absolutely nothing to take offense to here at all.

XIA – “When it snows”

So…this song actually came out a year ago. But it’s ON Junsu’s most recent album so it counts as a b-side (I’m sorry the rules are just nonexistent at this point). I will listen to anything Junsu slaps his name on and that’s that on that.

E’LAST – “Dangerous”

Fun choruses with some interesting tonal vocals slightly let down by a very, very normal set of verses. I appreciate the attempt here and I will look forward to more from E’LAST.

BTOB 4U – “Tension”

I was a massive BTOB fan back in the day, and it has been very remiss of me not to have kept up with them properly. So I will say that if anything was going to turn me BACK into a BTOB fan, it would be this whole mini from their sub-unit. I very much wish this song was the one they were promoting.

BAE173 – “FLY”

So many rookies last month! Something must be in the water. This is a cute song and I wish BAE173 good luck if we will be getting more of this.

BTS – “Dis-ease”

This is a jam and a half, I love it wholeheartedly.

ENHYPHEN – “10 Months”

Can I bop to it? Yes but it’s not my most enthusiastic bop ever.

NCT U – “I.O.U”

I like calm NCT, more calm NCT please.

GOT7 – “1+1”

GOT7 is another4 one of those groups that I at one point was a massive fan of but then somehow managed to stop paying attention to, despite their best efforts. But their most recent album is great, so it’s right back on the GOT7 train for me.

KAI – “Hello Stranger”

I had such a hard time picking ONE track from Kai off his debut mini that I had to reach out for help from a friend who is a bigger Kai fan than I am. I couldn’t pick between this song and “Reason”, so she said this: “I’d go with Hello Stranger, as an example of his versatility as a performer and the range of r&b sounds he explores”. Thanks for that one, my love.

…and that’s it! This month was a marathon, so thank you to everyone who has stuck with me through this mammoth playlist. Let me know your favourite b-sides, and happy listening!

About Hels

Hels
Extremely salty production journalist & professional boy group trash. I like Epik High more than you do.