2018 has seen its share of trends, but the saddest has been groups having to make a comeback after the death of a member. First it was SHINee, then 100%, and now Spectrum. Only one single album into their career, Spectrum suddenly lost member Kim Dong Yoon. I can’t imagine how this would affect a group emotionally, especially at such an early stage of their career. Spectrum’s music certainly shouldn’t be defined by tragedy, but it’s hard to ignore.
Like their debut, What Do I Do was produced by upcoming team Code 9, who have cultivated quite a strong discography in only a year and a half. Like most of their work, the song is defined by its blend of tropical-adjacent synths and dynamic arrangement. In this case, the track works better in pieces than a whole. What Do I Do has one of the best pre-choruses I’ve heard in awhile — a dramatic swirl of layered falsetto and climbing instrumentation.
Unfortunately, this build results in an underwhelming drop that favors production over melody. It feels especially unforgivable given the hook that came before it, and is really a missed opportunity to cement What Do I Do as a standout of its sub-genre. Thankfully, the rest of the track is evocative enough to compensate for this hole at its center. It approaches anthemic territory more than once, and that hints at a promising direction for Spectrum going forward. Hopefully their next comeback builds on these better instincts and ditches the overused trends.