With the cute bubblegum pop of Twice leading the girl group wave in Korea, it’s becoming harder to find new rookies debuting with anything but a cheerful image and sound. When Girlkind (what a name…) first started dropping teasers for Fanci, it seemed that we were in for something new. They’re billed as a hip-hop girl group, delivering the kind of material more often left to the guys. And though their sound still needs some honing, I appreciate their willingness to target an under-served market.
Fanci kicks things off with a synth-driven, future bass beat that blends retro elements with today’s trends. I can’t help but feel that the song could have been stronger with completely different production. It’s not that the tone here is unpolished. It’s just that we’ve heard it all before over the past year or so. Fanci may fit neatly within the current k-pop landscape, but it doesn’t stand out. And for a group that’s attempting a unique concept, I wish their actual music felt as ballsy.
This is a song driven by its instrumental and attitude, as everything from the verses to the chorus emphasizes hip-hop over melody. In fact, there really isn’t much of a chorus at all. Instead, the girls offer a couple lines of posturing over that aforementioned synth beat. It’s catchy, but not all that impressive. The pre-chorus and middle eight bring a greater focus on vocals, but even these portions feel more like ad-libs than properly constructed hooks. Luckily, the rap verses bring a bit of spunk, and the general vibe is pretty fun. Like many debuts, Girlkind show promise. They just need a stronger song next time around.