Buried Treasure: Seventeen – Back 2 Back (Performance Team)

A K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

I’m about to contradict myself…

In an industry that loves a pick-and-mix approach to song producers, I’m always urging agencies to find a core team of composers and stick with them. After all, this helps craft a signature sound for a K-pop group. But when it comes to Seventeen, I’d actually like to see them collaborate with new voices. That’s no dig on Woozi and Bumzu. Both are immensely talented. I just think it’s interesting to hear how the group might sound with different influence.

The Performance Team’s Back 2 Back answers this request while maintaining the Woozi/Bumzu magic that powers most of the group’s material. This one brings producer TAK into the fray and you can hear his abrasive electro touches all over the song. The production has a chugging, maximalist force that recalls early-2010’s SHINee alongside other TAK-produced hits like NCT 127’s Superhuman. For K-pop producer nerds like me, it’s great fun to hear Seventeen try their hand at this sound.

Melodically, Back 2 Back isn’t a discography standout. However, this is a Performance Team track so its emphasis is weighted toward its ability to spawn an engaging performance. With this in mind, I can visualize the stage now — sort of a Lilili Yabbay on steroids. I hope we get to see it!






Grade: B+

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