I came into this song without a lot of expectation. I know that new group Astro have a bit of a following due to web series and other online promotion, but I know next to nothing about them. In fact, I’d even say that my initial feelings for their music was less than positive, and that’s due entirely to their teaser videos, which emphasized the one thing I don’t like about this song: the childish playground rhyme that makes up part of Hide & Seek‘s hook.
I’m not a fan of these types of samples in pop songs at all, as I feel that it instantly cheapens the track or, in the worst of cases, almost destroys it. Luckily, the playground refrain is only repeated three times during Hide & Seek, and it’s buried within an otherwise fantastic pop song.
The track uses one of my favorite rhythmic styles. I’m sure the drum pattern has some sort of specific technical term, but I’m just going to call it “galloping,” because it feels like it’s constantly propelling forward rather than simply keeping time. As a fan of lighter pop music, I’m so happy that boy groups are again freed to explore their more melodic side. Hide & Seek has several indelible, bright hooks, provided by composers Seo Youngbae and Iggy, who are the dream team responsible for Gfriend’s incredible rise to fame. But even under the melodic hooks, we’ve got a robust, sunny bed of instrumentation, supported by some interesting synth work (particularly the inverted electro dive that brings us into the second verse). All in all, it’s a total sugar rush. This guarantees that Hide & Seek will have its fair share of detractors, but you can count me as a new fan!