Thinking back to K-pop’s most successful debuts, one factor remains the same. If you’re supported by a big agency, your chances of breaking through skyrocket. Everyone else has to fight for scraps, with the odd act making a name for themselves via a combination of perfect timing and luck. New boy group Lucente faces an uphill battle from the start, emerging from Noga Entertainment — an agency that must either be incredibly small or incredibly new. Try as I might, I can‘t find any sort of internet presence for Noga itself.
Given these ingrained challenges, I wonder if it’s smarter to go-for-broke with a daring sound, or hitch your wagon to the tried-and-true trends of the day. With Your Difference (뭔가 달라), Lucente opt for the latter. The song takes a hip-hop base and overlays tropical synths. Unsurprisingly, this results in the kind of sound we’ve heard a million times over the past few years. This familiarity makes it almost impossible to get a sense of just what kind of group Lucente seeks to be — or if they have any specific musical aspirations at all.
Thankfully, the track itself registers somewhere in the upper half of tropical-inspired knockoffs. Its chorus has an addictive swing to it, twisting its melody in unexpected ways and hinting at some impressively powerful vocals yet to be fully harnessed. I also quite like the driving pre-chorus. I’ll forget it almost instantly… but I like it. Make of that what you will.