Though I’ve already written about (and ranked) the Queendom finale songs, (G)I-DLE have made the smart move to pair their track Lion with an official music video. I think they deserve a full review for their efforts, right? While the song does nothing to dispel the accusations of cultural appropriation that swirl around the group (I mean… come on, girls!), Lion is easily the strongest track (G)I-DLE have promoted this year. Of all the Queendom tracks, it also feels the most like an actual single.
Opening with Minnie’s evocative timbre, Lion unfolds with a bluesy appeal. Its layers of percussion build gradually before hitting full force for the first chorus. Most refreshingly, there are no trap hi-hats or snares to be found anywhere in the instrumental. Rather than resort to popular drum samples of the day, the track opts for a dynamic texture that mimics the tribal aspects Soyeon was undoubtedly going for. This allows the production to pulse with an organic sense of surprise. Lion is at its best when the instrumental takes a daring turn, fading out the noise to shine focus on a big vocal moment or upping the intensity in support of a charismatic rap break.
In my ranking of the Queendom singles, I wondered how Lion’s melody would age. That’s still a concern, as I think the hook borders on being a bit repetitive. But, the girls imbue the song with so much magnetism that it’s hard not to get lost in its charms. (G)I-DLE have proven themselves as masters of performance, and if nothing else Lion offers them the chance to harness that ability.
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!