Song Review: AlphaBat – New World

I would never have predicted it, but low-budget, perma-rookie boy groups are kind of having a moment right now. Without the means to hire trendy, big-name producers, acts like Seven O’Clock and BLANC7 have been relying on a proven sense pop songcraft. None of these comebacks has been idiosyncratic enough to become a 2018 standout, but their classic approach has definitely been appreciated.

AlphaBat has had quite a rough go of it, debuting as a hip-hop group during the rookie boom of 2013 but never gaining much traction. Over the years, they’ve lost seven members due to military enlistments and other departures, but have kept chugging along with new faces joining the group. New World (신세계), then, is an appropriate title for this latest comeback. The song doesn’t sound anything like their 2013 work, but it does throw back to the styles preferred during that year.

In its opening moments, New World seems as if it’s going to launch into yet another over-played tropical instrumental, but its familiar synth squiggles are quickly replaced with a funky deep house beat. Deep house is right on the cusp of becoming yet another lifeless trend, but New World augments its signature structure with plenty of other electronic influences. However, what really gives this song punch is its confident chorus. The melody has a wonderful surge, followed by an extended post-chorus refrain that supplies World with satisfying moments of climax. AlphaBat give an assured, polished performance, culminating in a series of power notes that send the track off with energetic flair. It’s a shame the group doesn’t have stronger backing when it comes to promotion and music video production. A song like this deserves more attention than it’ll likely receive.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75



5 thoughts on “Song Review: AlphaBat – New World

  1. I completely agree with you about this track (I also like Blockbuster, which IMHO has one of the best intro of the whole year) and especially about the destiny of “perma-rookie boy groups”.
    What I’ve been wondering for – in particular – the last two years is what could these groups (and their agencies) do in order to come out of the fog. Most of them are talented, most of them have good title tracks, and I can’t forget that even BTS started in a “low budget and perma-rookie” mode that turned into something billionaire after a couple of .
    BUT it looks like today no “perma-rookie” boy group can have the same chance any longer, and that’s quite a shame.
    YouTube, VLive and social networks in general could probably help them a lot, but netizens seem to get more and more interested into the biggest acts (as long as it’s much easier to get in touch with them) and less and less into the smallest (I mean: we can’t exactly say even ONF or A.C.E, who are the most promising and relevant rookies at the moment to me, are having a real “success” or a huge “awareness” so far, despite 2 survival shows and lots of marketing activities).

    I hope we won’t find ourselves in a few months speaking about Stray – the-discount-BTS-clone – Kids as the only rookies who hit the score, because KPOP scene needs *tons* of fresh air and (uhm) unfortunately they’re not.


    • I agree with you up until the Stray Kids part. I don’t adore all of their album tracks and I don’t claim to, but “discount-BTS-clone” seems like a huge reach to me. Their songs are more similar in topic than, say, BTS and EXO’s are, and the tone of the songs themselves do, again, have a similar vibe, but I can’t at all imagine any Stray Kids song being a BTS song, or vice versa. You’re not reaching as far as the people on BTS Twitter who say that Stray Kids “stole the youth concept” (???) and I definitely get where you’re coming from, but I think Stray Kids are a lot more original than you’re giving them credit for.

      Liked by 2 people

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