By: Claudia Siregar |
SMTOWN 2019 at Tokyo Dome was a historical moment for K-pop fans as girl group f(x) came out of their hiatus and performed together onstage (though one member short) for the first time in three years. Born in 2009, f(x) is well-known for their experimental dance-pop tracks, the members’ outstanding dance skills, and their quirky image. In this article, I have compiled a list of underrated f(x) tracks, especially ones that highlight the experimental side of their music and their high quality production.
This track has a retro touch to it, complemented by soft basslines and drum beats. Quite slower in tempo compared to most of f(x)’s famous tracks as it relies on high quality smooth R&B-based production. We can clearly hear 80’s disco influence in the song, blending perfectly with the overall sound design.
Other than the dark theme of the song, “Dracula” earns a mention on this list due to the smooth, climatic transitions in between the song’s verses, chorus, and the bridge involving dramatic buildups using synths (none of that orchestral stuff). A perfect track for some midnight dancing.
Bored of Hot Summer? This one’s an underrated upbeat summer anthem every MeU must also jam to. Papi combines electropop and techno music with minor Latin pop elements, can be considered somewhat ahead of its time (pretty similar to Super Junior’s recent hits such as Lo Siento).
This one might not have exploded since it was meant to be nothing more than an SM station number, but the experimental elements of f(x) still stands out. While in 2019 tracks like this might sound rather generic, SM was quite experimental during that time in mixing heavy piano sounds with EDM.
Goodbye Summer (feat. D.O of EXO)
This number is most definitely not an experimental track, yet it deserves an honourable mention. It’s not every day that you hear a romantic acoustic track from f(x) – especially one featuring a boygroup member and his powerful vocals.
So Into U
Another ballad from f(x), this time mostly R&B-influenced and piano-based (not another Goodbye Summer). The production is reminiscent of 90’s Western pop, not very experimental yet deserves an honourable mention due to its high quality. Main vocalist/dancer Luna’s vocals, in particular, also deserve an honourable mention.
A tropical dance pop number with unique-sounding beats, this track sounds like a modern safari anthem. Whether the beats sound like woods cracking, guns reloading, or racks being opened – everything is open to the listener’s interpretation.
f(x) is back at it with the retro influences once more. This track in particular is strongly laced with soul elements, somewhat reeking of slight influences from The Supremes and Aretha Franklin’s heyday. The ringing sounds and basslines add to the retro atmosphere of the song, while the experimental background vocal layers add to the sweet tone of the song.
Perhaps one of f(x)’s most underrated songs of all time, Paper Heart deserves to be on this list due to its melodic rhythm and pop rock elements. It’s also important to note that f(x)’s production team experiments with fusing synths with electric guitar sounds throughout the song, making it a cheerful-sounding sad tune.
Blending slight influences from jazz with disco and EDM has never been out of the question for f(x)’s production team. Through “Rude Love”, f(x) presented us with what appears to be a disco-techno dance number, still sticking to the “EDM-laced runway anthems” theme of their “4 Walls” album.