The Produce 101 train rolls on, with agencies eager to throw their musical scraps at participating trainees and project groups before figuring out what to do with them in the long-run. The tragically-named Teen Teen brings together Produce trainees Lee Woojin, Lee Taesung and Lee Jinwoo, which makes me wonder if “Triple Lee” was ever a (regrettable) contender for their team name. But, Maroo Entertainment seems more enthused by the fact that all three performers are teenagers. It’s so nice, they named it twice.
I’m not mad at this. A younger age usually leads to poppier material, at least where idol groups are concerned. NCT Dream made a nice little career from upbeat bubblegum pop before growing into more standard NCT fare. It’s On You (책임져요) is definitely aiming for a similarly bright niche, though its catchy hook is blunted by its odd sing-song performance.
Right off the bat, You presents the kind of upbeat, synth-fueled instrumental that’s right up my alley. I love the robust, rumbling electro introduction, and wish that it had formed the basis for the entire track. Instead, the production opts for a bouncy, mid-tempo beat that’s fun in a TXT-lite kind of way. Over the top, the boys deliver a playful performance that sounds more like teens having aimless fun than seriously tackling a pop song. The melody has an odd lackadaisical quality to it, taunting and halfhearted where it could have been sharp and compelling. This was clearly a conscious choice, but the sing-talk structure only works in fits and starts. Fortunately, each chorus ends with a satisfying hook that helps tie things together. It’s not enough to make It’s On You a total standout, but I’m always game to settle for a fun, carefree concept.
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