B-Sides: Singin’ the Blues
Despite being considered a genre of the old days, much of the musicality surrounding the blues genre still lives in today’s music. This week we look at some of the best examples of blues tributes in K-Pop.
“Rewind” - B.A.P
If you want to go classic blues, there’s no doubt that B.A.P’s “Rewind” is a perfect example. The leisurely and sorrowful melody and the somber lyrics of a lost love is a textbook example of what we think of when it comes to the blues, with a modern twist. Yongguk and Zelo’s rap verses have a particularly profound impact when added to this classic beat, painting a picture of misery and regret.
“Truth” - TVXQ
While the song may appear more upbeat based on the tempo, TVXQ’s “Truth” is really a classic blues-esque song with lyrics that talk about the dark side of love. Not all blues music has slow and somber tempos, and this jazzy track is a perfect example of the flip side of the genre. With lyrics of how we all fall in love despite previous scars that will never go away and the constant cycle of hurt that we throw ourselves into, TVXQ reveals the hard truth in love.
“Singularity” - BTS
There is no arguing that BTS’s V has the deep vocals perfectly fit for the blues. “Singularity” is a softer and more sensual version of this genre, but the track still sings of a melancholy scenario of burying your true self for another person. The heavy theme paints a picture of deep regrets in a fake love that causes personal loss, a fitting theme for the gloomy genre of the blues.
“Promise” - EXO
A bittersweet track for EXO-Ls, EXO’s “Promise” is a song written by Lay and Chen addressed directly to their fans, written after the loss of former members when their world was full of uncertainty. The premise behind the song is extremely sweet and sincere, but at the same time expresses regret and sorrow for remorseful events that have already come to pass. The intensity of the melody makes for an incredibly moving blues track.
“Bonnie & Clyde” - DEAN
It’s no surprise that R&B king DEAN would have dabbled in the classic blues realm with his music. “Bonnie & Clyde” has a more modern flair to the melody, but the regretful tone of the lyrics is undeniable as a blues song. Singing of a mistake and unrequited love, you won’t find a more authentic trope in blues music like this track.