The year of debuts rolls on with 2019’s second Wanna One-spawned idol group. CIX will likely enjoy instant success due to the presence of member Bae Jinyoung. They’re C9 Entertainment’s first male idol group, following the ill-managed Good Day, who have yet to deliver a single comeback since their 2017 debut. With the continued popularity of the Produce 101 franchise, the agency is clearly throwing all their weight behind CIX, which includes enlisting a quintet of trendy international producers for Movie Star.
This song is fine, in the way that so many idol comebacks have been “fine” lately. It lacks any sense of originality, and doesn’t compensate its sense of familiarly with a killer melody. My biggest gripe with Movie Star is its lifeless production, which opts for the same overused brew of trap hi-hats, lurching future bass synths and downbeat bass that seems to be the go-to style for boy groups who want to appear cool and mature. Movie Star could completely transform if given an instrumental make-over. It needs a more memorable beat — something with a bit of funk or bite.
Similarly, Movie Star’s melody plays things safe. Part of me wonders if this is the result of a “song camp” composing approach, where nearly half a dozen producers collaborate to create a track. With so many cooks in the kitchen, it seems like creativity might be sacrificed in favor of consensus-building, with any potentially interesting kinks getting ironed out as a song takes shape. This may or may not have been the case here, but Movie Star definitely lacks the kind of ambition I look for in a debut. Compare this to ONEUS’ Valkyrie, which opted for a similarly dark approach earlier this year. That song had an incredible instrumental through-line in the form of its central guitar riff, and harnessed a sense of shifting momentum through its dynamic construction. Other than a standout pre-chorus that strongly recalls EXO, Movie Star feels like a flat line all the way through, building to a smooth — if not spectacular — hook.
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It’s fine. It could be better. It could be worse. It’s just fine.
If have yet to listen to their album, but I think it will be just fine.
NCT DREAM, ITZY, VERIVERY? Will somebody save this month?
I am crushing on W24 “Solfamiredo”. They are like this year’s new N.Flying.
It’s a good song. I’m just usually ambivalent towards idol bands because I feel like I could get this same style and presentation from dozens of American indie bands if I wanted.
It’s just fine. Imagine is a decent funk bop, but the rest of the album all blends together.
Those three acts you mentioned are the ones I’m pinning my hopes on, too, but honestly I’m just ready to move onto August. This month has been demoralizing.
Such is the state of kpop this summer that this song passes as “good”. As long as it does do x y z while avoiding p d q, it’s aiiight.
Yeah, it’s ok.
LikeLiked by 2 people
I never thought that K-pop would make me feel apathetic. I am not okay with that.
LikeLiked by 2 people
I literally have felt so underwhelmed by all the releases this year that it has been making me more and more detached from kpop in the sense of idol groups. No one is really standing out and everything just feels so lukewarm, my days in kpop are dwindling down to nothing. Suppose its time I start functioning as an actual adult after all.
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