10 B-Sides From SEVENTEEN You Should Listen To Right Now

I thought it’d be nice to start 2019 by taking on a challenge, and the challenge I decided on was to choose 10 of SEVENTEEN’s B-side tracks to introduce. I know, I know, what was I thinking?!

Carats (SEVENTEEN’s fandom) will understand how formidable this task is. First of all, for SEVENTEEN’s relatively short career, they have a lot of tracks. More importantly, they’re all really, really good! One of the advantages of SEVENTEEN and their many members is that they can often mix and match their members and experiment with different music styles and genres without compromising their original sound. And it’s because of this that we have a deep pool to choose from, and one that I had heart-wrenching difficulty in narrowing down.

So for casual readers, trust me when I say you should definitely give these songs a try; and for Carats who will undeniably have a different list, go easy on me!

Notes: This list is in no particular order, and the songs are chosen for the song itself, disregarding the performance aspect (that’s a whole other ballgame).

1. Shining Diamond

Album: 17 Carat (2015)
Performers: All

“So look carefully, I’m that diamond
You’ll be awed by our strength
When you look at this amazing combination
You’ll like us too, definitely – I’ll catch your eye”

“Shining Diamond” was featured on their debut project variety show, and was thought to be their debut song, but ended up only being a B-side track. This should give you a hint of how strong these boys debuted, as any song on the album was potential title track material. This song is just a fun bop, with brass instruments highlighting the high energy chorus. And the phrase often said by Carats — “slip into the diamond life” — is birthed from this song, as is the fandom name “Carat.”

2. Without You (모자를 눌러 쓰고)

Album: TEEN, AGE (2017)
Performers: All

“I didn’t know anything
Even if it’s hard
You don’t have to be alone
Come back, I’m ready to listen
Wherever you are, if you can hear me
Please come back to me”

“Without You” is in the same vein as “Don’t Wanna Cry,” where it’s similarly an orchestral EDM. The synths kick in during the first few bars, and sets the tone beautifully. The moderately fast tempo also hides the fact that the lyrics are actually surprisingly sad and emotional. Vernon’s part of “You don’t have to be alone” is especially ear-catching too.

3. Swimming Fool

Album: Al1 (2017)
Performers: Performance Unit

“I’ve fallen into you
I’m struggling because of you
My movements become slower
And I’m starting to suffocate
I’m a swimming fool”

I kept going back and forth between “Swimming Fool” and “Highlight,” but right as I started writing this passage, “Swimming Fool” started to play (I swear!) and my choice was made. “Swimming Fool” is one of the Performance Unit’s more laid back songs, going for more of a house genre, with fun whistling melodic lines, and is a sure summer bop that will get you grooving to the beat.

4. 20

Album: 17 Carat (2015)
Performers: Vocal Unit

“Do you still think of me as the person before?
In your small eyes,
I’m probably still a kid”

“20” (Twenty, not two-teen — a little fandom inside joke) is one of the Vocal Unit’s earliest songs, and one that remains beloved even now. The song itself is about boys aging into their twenties, and is just a youthful sounding song through and through. You can also tell the Vocal Unit themselves are having a lot of fun singing this song, especially when they all “whoop whoop” together in the chorus.

5. Don’t Listen In Secret (몰래 듣지 마요)

Album: Going Seventeen (2016)
Performers: Vocal Unit

“Don’t listen in secret
Even if this song becomes inaudible
This song that I made for you
Don’t listen in secret”

The Vocal Unit seriously has so many great songs that I’m sneaking in another entry from them. And as much as I love “Habit” and “Pinwheel” (and I really love them), “Don’t Listen in Secret” just has a special place in my heart. There’s so much to love about this song, and when compared to the previous “20,” you can also tell how much they’ve improved technically. From the constantly moving piano line in the beginning, to when the percussions kick in, to the perfectly suited vocals, to DK’s guttural-sounding “Even if I seem like a fool” part — everything is just perfect!

6. Trauma

Album: TEEN, AGE (2017)
Performers: Hip Hop Unit

“Feeling used to being forgotten
It’s my immaturity
Trauma arising
From my doubts
What is the reason I’m alive”

The Hip Hop Unit is known for penning their own lyrics, so their unit songs are generally based on their own experiences and stories. “Trauma” is as personal and as raw as it gets, with the members baring their own fears and vulnerabilities to us. S.Coups’ low, barely-there rapping just hits you right in the guts, and Mingyu’s singing really just ties everything together.

7. Change Up

Album: TEEN, AGE (2017)
Performers: Leaders (S.Coups, Hoshi, Woozi)

“Raise the gears, keep going, press on the accelerator
The engine is hot, gotta keep heating it up
So the light shining on SEVENTEEN won’t turn off
Lights in our studio are on every day”

“Change Up” was the first song revealed in the “2017 Seventeen project” series, with the leaders of each unit collaborating and leading the charge. It’s obvious to see why these three members were given their respective positions, as they hit a home run with this swaggy, R&B tinged track. Their determination and fire are seen through the lyrics (“We still haven’t shown you half of what we got”), and you can’t help but be excited to see what SEVENTEEN will deliver next. Leaders indeed!

8. I Don’t Know (글쎄)

Album: Going Seventeen (2016)
Performers: Mixed Unit (S.Coups, Jeonghan, Jun, Wonwoo, Woozi, Seungkwan, Vernon)

“We’re on different streets
I’m asking you, who is blankly standing on the other side
Can’t we go back?
I don’t know, I don’t know”

This song is an absolute favorite of mine, and is perfect to play when it’s raining outside. The song starts off with Wonwoo’s quiet sounding rap, and the melancholic mood just carries throughout the song. Woozi’s clear, crisp voice stands out during the chorus (backed with Seungkwan’s beautiful ad-libs), and fans of Jun will also be delighted with the amount of lines he has in this song!

9. Our Dawn Is Hotter Than Day (우리의 새벽은 낮보다 뜨겁다)

Album: You Make My Day (2018)
Performers: All

“It’s disappearing, the sight of our backs
With tightly held hands, the sun is setting
Only the stars fill up the night sky
As it shines on us”

“Our Dawn Is Hotter Than Day” is probably my favorite song out of this latest mini album, and is one of the most played songs on my SEVENTEEN playlist. Being a mini album released during summer, this chill R&B song evokes feelings of a lazy summer night or a relaxing drive down the coast against the sunset. The Hip Hop unit sounds especially good on this song, and you’ll surely find yourself grooving to this once you hear it.

10. Smile Flower (웃음꽃)

Album: Going Seventeen (2016)
Performers: All

“I can smile because we’re together
I can cry because it’s you
So what can’t I do?
Don’t say it’s the end
Because I’ll stay by your side”

Last but absolutely not least, we have “Smile Flower” — the song that always turns everyone into a puddle of tears. Woozi wrote this song with his members in mind, thinking of what may happen when one day they go their separate ways. The meaning of the song was then broadened to include Carats as well, and has since been a favorite among both fans and members. This is also a rare song where all the members get to sing, and they all do a good job, especially with conveying their honest emotions. From the lyrical acoustic guitar backing the track, to S.Coups’ first soft notes — I’m done for.

Honorable mentions (that don’t include aforementioned unit songs):

11. “Say Yes”: Main vocals DK and Seungkwan deliver a mesmerizing duet, showcasing their off-the-charts talents.

12. “Fast Pace” (빠른 걸음): One of the group’s more sexier sounding songs, with an interestingly subdued accompaniment.

13. “Rock”: A high energy song with a pulsating beat, more “rock” than their usual affairs.

14. “Can’t See The End” (끝이 안보여): DK teams up with the Hip Hop unit for this track, which is another hauntingly beautiful gem.

15. “Rocket”: A really upbeat song by the America line, Joshua and Vernon, with their respective voices contrasting nicely.

16. “Popular song” (유행가): It starts out as easy listening, but once the strings, synths, and backing vocals come in, the song becomes even more amazing.

17. “Getting Closer” (숨이 차): This song has the dark and edgy concept we’ve all been waiting for, plus DK’s high notes (layered against S.Coups low ones) will you give you chills.

Credits to Color Coded Lyrics for the English translations.

Go have a listen to these songs, you won’t regret it! As for Carats, what are your own top 10 recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!

Full disclosure: For the longest time, Belinda_C thought the lyrics from “Our Dawn Is Hotter Than Day” was “awesome awesome” instead of “Oh summer summer.” There’s also a ton more songs she wishes she could’ve included in this list! Share your love for SEVENTEEN and Shinhwa with her on Twitter!

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