Though there is a version of their name in Hangul, I feel sorry for any international fans trying to search up information about new girl group Episode. Typing “Episode K-pop” into any search engine is going to give you way more random information than you asked for. But listening to their single Open My Door (열어줘), I doubt whether anybody will be inspired to dig deeper into the group. The girls may have potential, but it’s been awhile since I’ve heard a K-pop debut this awful.
In short, Open My Door is an unmitigated mess. On its face, the track presents an utterly forgettable entry in the ever-expanding pool of quirky, trap-influenced girl group pop. Its instrumental might as well have been programmed by an A.I. machine. It regurgitates so many overused trends of the moment, but its lack of imagination renders them completely inert. I can’t pinpoint a single element that makes this production stand out. It’s devoid of energy, personality and effort.
However, what really makes Open My Door a disaster for the ages is the song’s mixing and poor vocal performance. I don’t know what’s going on with the arrangement here. Vocals are either too loud or too quiet depending on the moment, with odd ad-libs and affectations taking place of the central melody. Of course, there is no real melody to be found anyway, so that point is rendered moot.
While writing reviews, I try my hardest not to disparage performers or performances because I know how hard idols work, and musical taste is subjective. However, the vocals here are nothing short of dreadful. They’re off-key, oddly phrased and utterly unconvincing. They also sound like they were recorded in a tin can. I’m not sure what happened here, but Open My Door is its own special level of bad. I don’t think I can point to a single redeeming quality, and that’s rarely the case for me.
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