Beast, an immensely popular K-pop boy band, originally released "Midnight" on their Korean mini-album Midnight Sun. Now they're unleashing the Japanese version of this beast as their third Japanese single and it's a surefire winner. Written by by Shinsadong Tiger and Choi Kyu Sung, it's a thick slice of dance pop that's bound to set any dance floor on fire. It starts off with a repetitive piano note and gently-played acoustic guitar before one of the guys starts singing, "I want to sleep tonight, midnight midnight, midnight." Then, just when you're starting to suspect that this one is going to be a lullaby, a loud, propulsive beat starts pounding away along with some dubstep fluttering. The dubstep is replaced by synth once the first verse begins and the guys start doing their impressive vocal acrobatics, but the beats continue banging as though they're trying to blow your subwoofers. But beats alone don't make a hit. The guys' slick, radiant harmonizing is what really makes "Midnight" irresistible. They don't just carry a melody -- they make it soar majestically.
The B-side, "雨が降る日には." is a new Japanese version of fan favorite "On Rainy Days." It's a heart-warming ballad with an organic vibe as the guys sing over light percussion and warm acoustic guitar with just a faint hint of keyboards in the background. It could be said that "Midnight" focuses on the bass and bombastic production, but "雨が降る日には" is a stripped-down, simple production. But it works just as well because the guys project so much emotion when they sing, their voices truly being the highlight of the song. Even the hip-hop verse is tender and emotive. If you don't like ballads that tug at your heartstrings then you're sure to hate this one, but if you like ballads that really make you feel something then you're going to love it. (This single also includes instrumental versions of both tracks.) -Michael McCarthy