Song Review: GWSN – Red Sun (021)

Rookie girl group GWSN have drawn attention thanks to their signature sound of aegyo-infused deep house. And though I’d prefer to remove the first half of that description, I admire that the group has such a specific vision when it comes to style. Rookies are a dime a dozen nowadays, but these girls have already secured their own spot within the K-pop industry. New single Red Sun (021) keeps that momentum going, though it misses the opportunity to elevate GWSN’s discography to another level.

Red Sun’s teasers hinted at a big EDM influence, and that’s present within the track’s beat drop chorus. The sweeping synth during this segment is brief but impactful, fusing a sense of electronic bombast to the otherwise slinky instrumental. The song’s overall arrangement is fitful, built on a deep house beat similar to the group’s past work. This pays off during the first verse, building momentum before the energy drops for a spare pre-chorus. Things start to wear thin during verse two, which collapses into one of those horrible half-time hip-hop breaks that does nothing but blunt the overall effect of the track.

As exciting as the instrumental becomes during Red Sun’s chorus, I wish the song delivered an equally exciting melodic hook. “Ah yeah yeah, ah yeah… watch my fingers!” is hardly an innovative refrain, no matter how cheeky it may come across. And like GWSN’s past two title tracks, I think Red Sun could have been improved with a less aegyo-infused delivery. Too much of the performance feels overly affected to fit within the industry’s current preferences for girl group fare (ie: either hyper cutesy/innocent or badass swaggy — rarely anywhere in between). I’ve seen GWSN compared to f(x) on more than one occasion, and a song like Red Sun could do with that group’s edgy, multifaceted performance style. Still, it works well enough as a finale to their Park In The Night trilogy. I’ll be interested to see where they go next.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

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6 thoughts on “Song Review: GWSN – Red Sun (021)

  1. I had a hard time distinguishing what the chorus was from the prechoruses. (prechori?) Oh, now we are in the cho .. no, this is not the chorus, wait is this the chorus, wait what?
    I *think* the chorus is the “1 …. 2 ….. 3 ….” part but I could be wrong. I don’t think the composers were clever enough to use an alternative style, like sonata form or rondo.

    I really liked Pinky Star, the cute little percolation in the post-chorus breaks, also its cute video, with the Monument / MC Escher inspired vistas. Puzzle Moon also had the cute synth percolation going on. This song sounds like the leftover themes from Puzzle Moon, which itself were the leftover themes from Pinky Star, scooped up and arranged in what could be a plausible order. Honestly, if you weren’t listening closely enough, all three songs sound almost indistinguishable. The three songs may even be in the same key, but I myself am not clever enough to pick that out by ear without a piano.
    YouTube autoplayed Cherry Bullet “Q&A” right afterwards, which is also almost indistinguishable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to agree with you. I like the song but it didn’t feel very different from their debut track. It’s like a less impactful version of puzzle moon. The instrumental during the chorus is great and definitely my favorite part of the whole song. Red sun sounds like a b-side on their second ep.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: GWSN (공원소녀) – Red Sun: MV Review – TweetNewscaster

  4. Pingback: Song Review: GWSN – Bazooka! | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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