There was a time when I would have been excited by the prospect of a Japanese Produce 101 spin-off, but the series has reached the point of over saturation. I’m kind of over the whole thing, especially when considering the franchise’s effect on K-pop as a whole. But, like it or not, Produce is still a big deal in the industry. And, I’m in the business of writing about big deals.
It’s Coming sees the franchise’s tentacles extend to the J-pop industry, right at a time when Korean-Japanese relations have soured. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out, though I suspect the series will cater to its own audience with few nods to its Korean roots. The song itself is exactly what you’d expect from a Produce theme — all pulsing, high-energy electronics and anthemic refrains. There’s a comfort to this familiar template, though it’s starting to become difficult to tell these songs apart. For my money, It’s Coming is a slight improvement over this year’s X1-MA. Its arrangement isn’t quite as frantic, which allows time for the verses to breathe. We’re still presented with a wall of anonymous voices, making it hard for the song to forge any character of its own, but most of the melodies are nice.
True to form, It’s Coming climaxes in an overstuffed EDM breakdown, taking the genre’s electronic build to near parody levels. This production gets the job done, but still feels like a shadow of 2017’s Pick Me, which perfected this stadium-ready style. In the end, it’s almost pointless to review a track like this. Like fast food, you know exactly what you’re getting and your expectations have likely been set before even pressing play. It’s Coming is no better or worse than those expectations, which essentially makes it immune to critique. In that way, I guess the Produce 101 monolith has done its job well!
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