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.
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