Get the Treasure! K-Pop’s Greatest Detectives
Since its release on May 4, Netflix’s first Korean variety show Busted has been my go-to show to binge-watch episodes of on the weekend. The plot focuses on a group of actors, comedians, and idols (including EXO’s Sehun and gugudan’s Sejeong!) who work together to solve complex murder mysteries, escape rooms, and more! With every new episode, I began to wonder: which groups have had a detective concept?
Here are a few of K-Pop’s greatest groups of detectives!
“Sherlock” by SHINee
A mixture of the two SHINee songs “Clue” and “Note,” “Sherlock” is undoubtedly the quintessential detective single in K-Pop. The song is a thrillride from start to finish, with a chilling opening violin riff that explodes into electronic heaven. “Sherlock” is the ultimate feel-good song; every time the chorus comes around, it’s almost impossible not to want to shout: “I’m so curious!”
The video for “Sherlock” features five members of SHINee working a case of missing jewelry. It leads them to a museum, where they receive a little supernatural help along the way to solve the case…or do they? SHINee’s “Sherlock” is a gold mine both musically and visually, and features choreography by Tony Testa intermixed between the members’ tireless hunt for the treasure. As Minho would say: “give it up for SHINee!”
“Poison” by Secret
Who said detectives had to be good all the time? In “Poison,” the girls of TS Entertainment’s Secret are working a difficult case: they want to steal precious diamonds and jewelry from a locked vault in a saloon bar. Throughout the music video, each member plays an important role in discovering the code that keeps the safe locked shut, including tricking other detectives, seducing men, sending secret messages in flowers, and singing at the bar. They’re also not afraid to kill if necessary!
As “Poison” was one of Secret’s first comebacks with a sexy concept, the song’s use of recurring saxophone and a powerful drumbeat help to shape a tougher, sexier-sounding song for the girls’ sweet vocals to dominate. The track is a mixture of R&B and Hip-Hop genres and, in true Secret style, has a retro sound to it that is almost reminiscent of the ‘90s. Its lyrics deal with falling deeply in love with someone to the point that it becomes unhealthy.
“El Dorado” by EXO
But detective work isn’t always recovering missing treasures or stealing diamonds from saloon bars; sometimes, a case can be a voyage into the mystical like in EXO’s “El Dorado!” The track chronicles the exploration to discover the lost city of gold, which comes to them in prophetic dreams that can be used as clues. The members are so desperate to find El Dorado that they nearly drive themselves into madness to achieve their goal. Ultimately the group’s brotherhood is strengthened due to the hardships they endured to discover paradise; who doesn’t love a song with multiple meanings?
Although it was never a title track on EXO’s second album EXODUS, “El Dorado” is an exhilarating electronic song with a thumping backbeat, insane high notes, and a fun, rhythmic chorus. However, the real magic of “El Dorado” can be felt when watching the group perform the song live in concert. Donned in gold jackets, the members are surrounded on stage by golden light sticks, transporting the audience to El Dorado. They then pull out their own light sticks and begin using them as part of their choreography, dancing along to the song’s quick tempo. It is truly a performance that must be seen to be believed!