Earlier in the year, fueled by my frustration over Golden Child’s long hiatus, I compiled a list of post-2016 debuts who had been out of the spotlight for the longest time. Poor Victon landed at number four. Nostalgic Night (그리운 밤) acts as their first title track in over seventeen months – a lifetime in K-pop. Fortunately, they have the brand strength of Produce 101 behind them this time. Members Seungwoo and Byungchan participated in the latest season of the runaway smash, with the former making it into the show’s debuting group, X1. In other words, this comeback is a big opportunity for the group. So, does Nostalgic Night get the job done?
I hate to say it, but not really. Like their last promoted track, Nostalgic Night takes a more downbeat approach. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but a song like this needs a knockout melody to counter its murky energy. Night’s construction seems designed to maximize the amount of angst that can be channeled through the track. Its verses are largely forgettable, casting off the kind of threadbare melody that feels more like lamenting and whining than proper song structure. Victon do what they can here, but there’s just not a lot to grab onto.
Nostalgic Night’s chorus is more successful, even though it opts for an instrumental drop hook with a minimal amount of vocals thrown over the top. I like how the tempo speeds up here, and the EDM sample has potential. But, I wish the production felt cleaner. The different elements all get muddled together, making it hard to appreciate the instrumental’s underlying charm. I applaud the group for making a long-awaited comeback, but I think they’re capable of delivering a knockout track. This feels more like treading water.
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!