Thus far, Newkidd’s biggest claim to fame is member Ji Hansol, who trained with NCT and won a spot in The Unit’s project group UNB. Following an increasingly common trend of pre-release schedules, Newkidd hasn’t officially debuted yet. After last year’s forgettable sub-unit single album Will You Be Ma, the guys are back as a sextet with their second preview single Shooting Star (나는 너야).
As their uniformly blonde hair dye might suggest, Shooting Star is a much brighter concept than their previous work. The group has enlisted a strong group of collaborators, with the always reliable Shinhye among the army of composers who created the song. And in a year of chill and moody boy group releases, Shooting Star’s bright pop sound goes down easy. Its heavy electro thump is refreshingly funky from the first moment, offering an energetic, retro pop beat while still giving the song room to breathe. Star has the kind of old-school K-pop sound I’m always seeking out within the sea of current trends.
Pre-releases aren’t usually pitched as the kind of showstoppers we might expect from a major comeback, and Shooting Star is no different. The track has limited ambition, but delivers on its promise as a light, funk-driven burst of summertime fun. If anything, I wish that the members’ performance felt a little less generic. It’s difficult to gauge exactly who Newkidd are through Star’s breezy melody. Still, that concern is pushed from memory each time the song’s standout chorus comes around. It has a wonderful groove to it, complimented by a hook that stretches out in all the right places.