I’m not sure it’s pervasive enough to be considered a trend, but I’ve noticed something during the past few months in K-pop. While the established and buzzy acts continue to cater to international tastes (ie: tropical/EDM/trap/etc), lesser-known names are starting to embrace K-pop’s past. This is likely out of necessity, as smaller budgets make it difficult to purchase top-of-the-line trendy material. But whatever the case, it’s resulted in some pretty robust comebacks from unexpected places.
BLANC7 already have two singles under their belt, yet they’ve gone mostly unnoticed by the Korean public. I don’t think that Drama (드라마) will be the song to break them out, but it’s definitely their best comeback yet. The guys are working with production team Aven Tradition once again, who are better known for their work with girl groups like April and Laboum. Perhaps that’s why Drama feels so light on its feet, unencumbered by the kind of trap breakdowns and moody asides that plague so many recent boy group tracks.
Refreshingly, Drama shines full spotlight on its pop melody, coasting along until it hits the anthemic surge of its chorus. Its chugging dance beat is buoyed by bright guitar and beautifully airy background vocals. The song is missing that one extra something that would make it memorable in the long run, and there are a few little spots where the production lacks polish, but Drama succeeds on this soaring sentiment. It’s exhilarating to hear a track that doesn’t rely on instrumental drops and oversimplified hooks to bolster its appeal. Sadly, BLANC7’s ultra-rookie status almost ensures that most listeners won’t even give Drama the time of day.