After the tremendous success of girl group competition show Produce 101 and the domination of its resulting group, I.O.I, it makes perfect sense that MNET would green light an all-male spin-off series. And like Produce, which had its representative song in the form of the quirky Pick Me, BOYS24 has released the pop bombast of Rising Star as a teaser for the series’ debut on the 18th.
To be clear, Rising Star is no Pick Me… but I don’t think it’s really trying to be. Pick Me was a bizarre choice, with its impossibly chirpy hook and veritable army of chorused voices. But it was so strange that it worked brilliantly, capturing the zeitgeist and perfectly soundtracking the desperation to debut in the k-pop system. Rising Star is much closer to what you’d expect from a survival show, taking a traditional boy group sound and augmenting its structure to give ample room for displaying individual talents. You’ve got extended dance breaks, melodic verses and hip-hop interludes. In fact, at one point, the entire song shifts to a bhangra-inspired beat reminiscent of the middle-eight in TVXQ’s old classic Rising Sun.
I’m not sure if Rising Star will be released in audio format, and if it is I presume it’ll be edited into something a bit more streamlined. As it stands, it’s definitely a song that needs its accompanying video to really shine. There’s a palpable thrill in seeing all forty-nine contestants dancing in unison at the track’s climax. And while Star lacks the irresistible charm of Pick Me, it promises a series with high production value and big drama. All that electric guitar isn’t howling over the last third of the song for nothing!