Song Review: KARD – Red Moon

KARD have publicly talked about their difficulties finding music within the K-pop industry that’s written for a co-ed group. Their mixed configuration has become a distinct calling card, but also boxed them in. Compared to single-sex groups, it feels like they’re more limited when it comes to concept. Perhaps because of this, their 2019 work catered to their hype side, dialing back melody in favor of big, aggressive beats. It wasn’t for me.

New single Red Moon brings KARD back to the tropical sounds that characterized their first two years. This is a musical trend that has largely passed, but it was always well-suited to their performance style. There’s a certain level of comfort in hearing them return to a (slightly) more melodic sound, even if Red Moon isn’t quite as strong as their first four singles.

Grooving over a moombahton beat, most of the track is exactly what you’d expect. The verses are fine, even though they’re driven by the same in-your-face posturing that made their last two singles so irritating. I would have loved to hear more innovation here, especially during that awful trap break that follows the first chorus. The members have an undeniable charisma, but I think it could have been channeled into a more interesting structure. Luckily, Red Moon heats up during its chorus. The first half offers a decent (though heavily autotuned) refrain before taking a hard turn towards more compelling territory. The percussion grows bombastic and exciting here, coupled with an addictive chant that feels like the hook last year’s Bomb Bomb and Dumb Litty were desperately seeking. Smartly, Red Moon comes in at just under three minutes. There’s not enough time for its chorus to become stale, and its brevity should keep listeners coming back for more.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

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4 thoughts on “Song Review: KARD – Red Moon

  1. It sounds like their original classic tropical sound from a few years ago grafted onto the heaviness of Bomb Bomb and Dumb Litty. I really really liked the former when it first came out, because at the time it seemed refreshing for kpop. I really really did not like the latter, it was dumb noise to me. Therefore this one winds up in the middle.

    I wish them the best, as it won’t be long before they are a threesome with JSeph (iirc the shorter male) doing his military service this year. Who knows what will happen next.

    I have much longer thoughts about how I do not believe the agency did a good job at all at creating a cohesive group unit, whether coed or not but simply in higher relief as a coed group, which in part leads to the song selection problem, but this cranky pants will just stop here.


  2. Though I liked it much more than bomb bomb, I kind of thought it worse than Dumb Litty? Dumb Litty was probably a 6 (cause its funny as hell and that kind of improved it in my eyes) and Bomb bomb was like a 4 cause that drop is one of the worst I’ve ever heard. This kinda falls in the middle. Would give It a 5 or 5.25.

    Honestly, wish they would go back to their Rumor, Oh Na Na and Don’t recall days or ditch this “go hard” sound altogether


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