An Ode to INFINITE: Our Top 10 Songs by the Band


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INFINITE’s artistic splendor expresses its infinite scope and unrestricted evolution. They continued to release music in various genres like R&B, dance-pop, and electronic to stay true to their foundations in musical diversity despite being a K-pop group. Sungkyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Hoya, Sungyeol, L, and Sungjong constituted the original seven-member band until Hoya left in late 2017.

To my ears, their music is pure gold. I reckon what best distinguished them was their top-notch knack for musically portraying passion, suffering, and subtle relationship intricacies while still arranging them in a highly dynamic style. INFINITE’s utterly untamed performance—in line with their moniker—made K-pop seem and sound ethereal; their masterful theatrics and singing inevitably made a statement.

Spanning delicate falsetto harmonies with gentle feels to booming drums, supercharged music, thrilling beat drops, and charming lyricism, INFINITE aced them all. Here is my ode to them, their electrifying sound, and their magic—which made up this second generation of K-pop stars—recapitulating ten of my all-time favorite songs by them.

“BDT” (Before the Dawn BD) – Evolution (2011)

Notwithstanding its ferocity, BDT’s connotations, revealing the inner conflicts of those featured in the video, lend it its unique excellence. Lyrically, it relates to a disgruntled soul brawling against odds to hang on to a loved one. I won’t delve deeper into INFINITE’s performance given they’ve been unanimously hailed for their stellar synchronizations, but it’s crucial to underline how well L and Woohyun mined the sentiments the song embodies.

The MV has a dystopian feel to it and is plagued with nefarious forces, thereby lacking the hoped-for denouement. Its repressed angst, wrath, and strife are pieced most poignantly together with more intense music and expressions—the vocals billowing in conjunction with an awesome guitar riff—all of which crescendo to the song’s indelible impression.

“Be Mine” – Over the Top (2011)

I’ve been bopping along to “Be Mine,” one of my most-listened-to K-pop songs. A classic love track with a rousing beat and tender lyrics that speak to the heart, notably the gorgeous chorus. The roiling feelings ingrained—the unbridled flow of love—is so deftly suggested, offering a reminder of INFINITE’s incomparable musicianship.

“Paradise” – Paradise (2011)

The enigma of “Paradise” is great. Contrary to what its title may imply, the song is rife with melancholy, ache, and reminiscences while simultaneously urging one to move on with life, fleeing the misery of the past. It is profound in its grandiose orchestration, INFINITE’s impassioned singing, and impressive aesthetics, equating to a singular aural and visual feast.

“Julia” – Over the Top (2011)

The mellifluous jamming of “Julia” from the band is a wistful reminder of a lost love you pine for in their absence. Even so, the lament sounds lovely, as the soft-rock piece exquisitely captures the yearning. In sync with the deep words, the melody grows, as does the mood: “Julia, Julia, my time was spent letting out my heart / of all the things I couldn’t do to you / Yesterday’s love changed into longing / becoming a memory.” The boys synchronize to the luminous score, their relaxed, breathy rendition eliciting sentiments.

“The Chaser” – Infinitize (2012)

This smash, which Billboard ranked as the third-best K-pop song of the 2010s and received rave reviews, is still recognized as one of the best songs from a K-pop boy band. “The Chaser” is essentially an opus stimulating the primal feelings of true love, intensifying with time. The song’s steady buildup alludes to this. Big ups to the composition, the aural shifts, the rapid hip-hop parts, and the smooth rap verses delivered through INFINITE’s signature showmanship—all blending into a radio hit.

“Man in Love” – New Challenge (2013)

“Man in Love” rings in the mind as bursting with gobs of sweetness, a ton of cutesy aspects, pretty boys, the exuberance of love, an uplifting tune, and all things INFINITE. From the band’s prior somber strains, I’d say this one was a refreshing break. Nothing was challenging about the song, but, on that note, it made its mark upon release, winning first place on every musical televised show in Korea at the time and gradually picking up steam outside of the domestic market thereafter.

“Last Romeo” – Season 2 (2014)

The boys’ personification of Romeo represents a yearning and a call for the beloved to be with him. The musical accompaniment of the song, which has such an explosive and unmistakable presence, enhances the message. I’m fond of how the music video frequently alternates between hues that largely rely on dark, dismal tones to match the vibe of the record. The flawlessly timed choreography that ties its essential elements together in a way that is exclusive to INFINITE’s magnetism remains infectious throughout its run.

“Back” – Be Back (2014)

INFINITE’s music videos have often centered on gripping narratives. With its aching melody, “Back” resumed the tradition and secured permanent residence on my playlist. The lyrics of the song and the music video, in which the band members struggle to rescue a young girl, leave listeners feeling forlorn yet again. The stupendous dance, acting, and staging of the events all merge to paint nothing short of a heartbreaking movie. Thus, that in part contributes to the song’s influence. The other element is the way the music enhances the story, turning it into an unforgettable memory.

To be honest, “Back” has a ton of brilliant moments: the mind-blowingly amazing vocals, the irresistible chorus, the immaculate beats, the alluring music, and the soul-stirring hook line, “Come back, I want you back back back back,” effortlessly create the crowning glory of this exceedingly well-crafted song.

“Bad” – Reality (2015)

After its 2015 debut, “Bad” became a big hit. The music video’s ominous aesthetic and atmosphere, which feature the “bad girl” as its centerpiece and the boys’ center of attraction, were greatly acclaimed. In my mind, the plot works wonderfully as an allegory for a toxic relationship that torments you while drawing you in. Its horror elements hint that such a relationship can be traumatic and leave scars. But “Bad” still boasts a beautiful way of employing a variety of orchestral elements that blend flawlessly with INFINITE’s mighty vocals. A dramatic, throbbing choral performance from the band visually animates this horror fest; it’s a little disconcerting but incredibly striking, especially when played loud.

“Tell Me” – Top Seed (2018)

“Tell Me” is an enticing power love song—delicate but chock-full of vigor. INFINITE performs this hip K-pop song in a mid-tempo style with hints of synth melodies. Besides Woohyun’s sensual high notes, their sweeping dance moves mix romance with an epic chorus amid dreamy backdrops, giving the song greater panache.

The post An Ode to INFINITE: Our Top 10 Songs by the Band appeared first on Rolling Stone India.


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