For a group that most would consider to be under-the-radar, VAV have enjoyed a surprisingly consistent promotion calendar. They’ve already released over a dozen singles/music videos since their 2015 debut. Despite having a lot to choose from, I’ve run real hot and cold with their music. They’re one of those groups that just doesn’t have a consistent sound or image. One minute they’re taking on bombastic, VIXX-style funk pop, and the next they’re tackling generic tropical fare.
New single Poison is yet another stylistic shift, slotting within K-pop’s trend of dark, future bass oriented dance pop. Those who have followed The Bias List for any length of time will know how I feel about this particular genre. It takes a dynamite song to make it bearable, and unfortunately Poison is just too lurching and glum to make much of an impact. Its piano introduction hints at a haunting aesthetic that never materializes. Instead, the opening verse retreats to standard boy group brooding.
Things speed up for Poison’s aggressive pre-chorus, but the song quickly staggers back into a ho-hum hook that sparks little interest as those infernal future bass synths take precedence. The beat intensifies for the second half of the chorus, as rubbery electronics offer a fitful, briefly propulsive climb towards a catharsis that never ends up happening. The track would have been better off exploring this sound further, as the rest of Poison drags badly by comparison. In the grand scheme of VAV’s hits and misses, this comeback falls firmly in the latter category.
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