There are many reasons to stan TopSecret, but here’s the only one that really matters: Sweetune produces their music. As every faithful K-pop fan knows, Sweetune is the Jesus Christ of music and their songs are the scriptures that we must dutifully follow whilst resisting the devil, Teddy. You know BLACKPINK’s “Playing With Fire” is about burning in hell, right?
TopSecret’s first single, “She,” is classic Sweetune; glittery eighties synth-pop, funky guitar riffs, lush layered vocals. It’s the kind of thing that would probably be a bit of a regression for former Sweetune babies INFINITE, but would still be welcomed just because it’s so smooth.
As good as “She” is, TopSecret’s follow-up, “Mind Control,” is what really caught my attention. Sweetune rarely veers from their formula, but when they do the results can be spectacular. “Mind Control” starts off normal -a propulsive eighties dance beat, an addictive whistle riff, some wobbly dubstep- but goes haywire on the chorus, which is one of the most ridiculous pop hooks of the year. The song’s title is repeated as a chant while Sweetune messes with the pitch; as the song nears the end, raps are piled on top of choruses and more synths are added to the driving beat. It’s so great.
The music video is PSY levels of silliness, although I could totally see T-ara or Girl’s Day doing this kind of song and video during one of their goofier phases. Oh my god, imagine if this really was a T-ara single?
Even TopSecret’s b-sides are worth listening to. There’s one called “Something Special” on their first album which is jittery, synthesized new jack swing. They performed it at their debut showcase, which you can check out below.
When people ask me why I generally stan girl groups over boy bands, it really just comes down to girl groups having better and more interesting songs. When the boys bring it, like Block B and NCT do, I’m more than eager to support them. That’s why I like TopSecret, because not only did they give me my Sweetune fix with “She,” they’re also doing something different with “Mind Control.” I can’t wait to see what they do next.