With so many similarly-pitched idol competitions premiering at the same time, I fear the onset of k-pop survival series fatigue. And by releasing their theme song last out of the group, MIXNINE’s Just Dance (선공개) feels way too familiar in both inspiration and execution. But the song was co-composed by producer Teddy, who has long been a reliable creator of top tier k-pop material. Even working within the narrow confines that these kind of tracks demand, he manages to imbue Dance with enough excitement to make it another worthy addition to this growing sub-genre.
As the song kicks off, its funk-laced production promises great things to come. The sheer bigness of the percussion, paired with an engaging gurgle of electro-bass, provides the kind of audio smack in the face that compositions like these are built for. As with both The Unit and Produce 101, the vocals have been filtered to sound like dozens of performers even though there are really only two main voices driving the track. This arrangement strikes a solid balance between the need to sound immense and individual. Even so, I can’t help but wonder how Just Dance would have turned out if given to a more traditional idol group who might have been able to bring a more interesting sense of personality to the relatively generic melody.
The first time through, Dance‘s lack of a proper chorus was a real turn-off. Like so many others before it, the track builds up such good will during its verses only to be sabotaged by a centerpiece that relies too heavily on familiar instrumental trends. But while I would have preferred a more fleshed out chorus, Dance‘s simple refrain still feels big enough to drive the song. I especially love the filtered “all night long I wanna dance” echo to the central hook. Its layered texture helps lend the track the kind of enormity it’s seeking to create. Leave it to someone like Teddy to turn choices I despise into moments of pop bliss.
Teddy is skilled and, like Sweetune (if we ain’t counting recent Kim Seung Soo songs), is able to generally use his abilities to rise above bad trends – but that doesn’t change the fact that I was JAMMING to this until the “chorus” hit. *sigh* It feels like my 2017 favorites list is just gonna be all of the songs that don’t have trend breakdowns for choruses.
I think the reason the anti-chorus works for me this time around is that it still feels like it has the energy of a proper chorus even if the melody isn’t really there.
Still would have preferred something more fleshed out, obviously, but I already find myself re-playing this track more than I would have expected.
The song is pretty decent! By far the most noteworthy aspect of this for me, though, was ONF’s leader/main vocal Hyojin featuring as the center and #1 position among the guys taking part in this, with solo lines and everything…they’re my favorite rookies so far this year and I’m really rooting for them to garner some solid recognition from going on this show (like, it’s painful how slept on their debut mini was in ratio to its quality) so this looks like a promising start. I’m rooting for Snuper to get their own well-deserved popularity increase from The Unit, as well.
On a sidenote, what was the backpack kid meme dance doing in this. Just. What??
I noticed that too! Very happy for Hyojin and ONF, even though I still don’t know why WM sent them to a show like this right after debuting. I mean, have a little faith in the group, right?? B1A4 wasn’t exactly an instant breakout success either, and look where they ended up!
And yes… backpack kid dance is a big no-no. Embarrassing for everyone involved…
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backpack dance was cute though.. its not embarrassing (for me)
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This song is really catchy for my ears and the backpack kid dance is actually well accepted by the fans and it fits the cute image of them. Have you check their original songs? Like Stand by me, Like a star, and for the final episodes? They were BOP! I personally like Hand in Hand and Hush~
I liked Stand By Me and Like A Star quite a bit!
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