I’m not sure what kind of alternate-reality-grammar “We, First” is following, but I do know that this specific brand of synth-infused, cutesy girl group release is getting a bit stale. ELRIS is a brand new act, most notable for featuring K-Pop Star‘s Sohee as a member. She debuted last month with the trendy Spotlight, and We, First‘s (우리 처음) adherence to another popular formula makes it feel like their agency has run out of original ideas.
A group only gets one chance to debut, and you’d assume they would want to leave a mark right from the beginning. We, First doesn’t offend, but it doesn’t surprise either. It sounds very much like a OnePiece-produced Lovelyz track. Its light, sugary melodies ride along a fizzy instrumental driven by retro synths and an unending supply of electronic blips and bleeps. It’s neither uptempo nor balladic, and never attempts to color too far outside the lines. In short, it’s frustratingly middle-of-the-road.
This isn’t to say that the song is completely without its merits. There’s a tiny dose of New Jack Swing in its regimented beat, and one nice instrumental riff that pops up here and there without expanding to anything memorable. The girls have the standard, cutesy k-pop delivery down pat, and the chorus musters up enough energy to be mildly interesting. It’s just that we’ve heard this so many times before. When the sound is not even working all that well for an established group like Lovelyz, I’m not sure what ELRIS thinks it’s going to do for them. They simply have to be more interesting than We, First makes them out to be.