K-pop tends to cannibalize itself, which can muddle the meaning of “debut” when it comes to new groups. 3YE (pronounced “Third Eye” — because, of course it is) have debuted with their first digital single DMT (Do Ma Thing), but the members have already been active in the industry. All three were part of disbanded girl group Apple.B, who was managed by the same agency. I understand the desire to drastically shift names and concepts in the hope of a much-needed reboot, but I wonder just how confident these girls feel when it comes to their management and promotion. Things didn’t work out last time. Why would they now?
3YE are hedging their bets on a stylistic overhaul. While Apple.B was cute and bubbly, DMT sees the group trying on a hard-edged blast of EDM swagger. The overall sound is more captivating this time around, but the song suffers from relying too heavily on formula. Listeners are hit immediately with heavy percussion and distorted electronics. DMT wastes no time launching into its beat-drop hook. As far as instrumental loops go, it’s unremarkable but not unlistenable. Like much of the track, the production feels lifted straight from dozens of like-minded singles over the past few years.
While the structure may be overly familiar, DMT’s use of dubstep feels almost nostalgic. This genre was omnipresent in 2013‘s K-pop oeuvre, eventually fading as trap became more mainstream. It’s kind of fun to hear it again, though the track doesn’t make interesting use of its jagged flourishes. Instead, its bombastic presence punctuates hip-hop verses and a pre-chorus that strains to offer a kind of quasi-melody. The girls are definitely singing here, but even after a few listens I can barely remember anything that happened between the noisy instrumental portions. That’s probably not a good sign for 3YE, but I could say the same about their work as Apple.B.
This kind of song usually turns me off completely, but I decided to give this one a chance after hearing the smooth as butter transition from F7 to G7 at 0:42. It caught me off guard in the best of ways. I don’t even know why it is in this song, but it is, so I’ll enjoy the hell out of it. The rest of the song is pointless edm, and I’ve never been a fan of the dubstep trend (not even when my fav groups did it)… but I have a feeling I’ll be returning to this one just to hear that meaningless chord change a few more times.
Ah, but today was announced a new boy group called CIX. Pronounced Cee-nine.
I heard that chord change! I thought, hmm, sounds completely crafted on a keyboard.
(… Have you ever heard Vienna Teng “Hymn of Acxiom”? You will love it!)
More than a few parts sound copy and paste from other songs, like, hey lets throw a few bars of something from a big hit for someone else in – especially Verse 2.
But the refrain “Imma do ma thang” is the big turn off for me. Where do they think they are from?
Not nearly enough stage presence to pull this concept off
I have been reflecting upon this song (or the jist of the song). This is the part of the kpop industry that pisses me off. These young women are trapped in a crappy contract to a crappy company who socks them with two crappy concepts and crappy songs. I am sure these ladies are not being paid, and for all this they get to shake their booties in daisy dukes to “imma do ma thang”.
The company really just needs to stop. It ain’t working for ya.
Yeah, it’s pretty demoralizing. The whole world of forever-nugu, under-funded groups is depressing if you stop to think about it too long.
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