Rookie group KNK are back with a new single… and no music video. Citing quality issues, the (presumably) completed video was cancelled and won’t be re-filmed. It’s a head-scratcher of a move, and would actually be kind of laughable if it wasn’t so sad. I mean, imagine the poor editor realizing that, no matter how you cobble it together, there just wasn’t enough decent material to fill three minutes. It’s bizarre, and honestly makes me want to see the footage even more. Quality issues certainly didn’t stop Seventeen’s Pretty U from being released with almost unlistenable audio mastering, and I’d argue that even KNK’s own debut music video suffered in that area as well. Either way, not having a visual to accompany it definitely hurts U.
The group’s last single, Back Again, was an absolutely brilliant pop song. U tries very hard to replicate that success, working with the same producer within the same genre, but it never quite lives up to the potential KNK showed us in June. U is a song in fits and starts, unable to settle on a tempo or moment that feels fully realized. The verses kick in at an off-kilter pounce, slowly morphing into a higher BPM as additional percussion is added in the background. This carries on until the chorus, which bursts forward with much of the drive that made Back Again such a triumph. Its melody is far and away the song’s strongest moment, but doesn’t last long enough to truly make a lasting effect. Instead, the momentum is blunted by a dubsteppy post-chorus repetition of the track’s title.
Throughout U‘s running time, I kept waiting for it to explode. Unfortunately, the track just wasn’t built for that. There are moments where potential peaks through, but each segment rushes by too fast to feel as if it’s actually connected to what comes before and after. This makes U a frustrating case of push-and-pull, where the arrangement is just too complex for its own good. Here’s hoping that the next comeback will give us something more focused — and maybe even an actual music video to go with it!