Boy group Spectrum debuted in 2018, and have struggled to find an audience despite consistently releasing solid material. Up to this point, their singles have been composed by production team Code 9, who have giving them an identifiable sound. New track Showtime switches up producers (and lowers the budget, if its music video is any indication). This results in a real mixed bag.
I’ve spent most of 2020 longing for a K-pop track whose verses are as strong as its chorus, but Showtime has the opposite problem. As the song begins, it feels that we’re in for an exciting ride. I love the pulse that the instrumental has here, grooving on an addictive electro bassline that’s soon joined by kicking percussion. It’s refreshing to hear idol rap perched over such high-energy production, and while the melody isn’t particularly galvanizing, the slick performance compensates.
Unfortunately, once we hit the chorus, Showtime staggers. The track brings in those familiar future bass influences, fracturing the tempo in favor of a lurching wall of synths. The first time through, this arrangement isn’t too bad, but things actually decline for each repetition. Absent of a standout hook, this segment feels like it’s going through the motions rather than offering anything vital or new. An influx of psy-trance during the bridge helps to reinvigorate the energy, but its presence is too brief to feel like anything but a tacked-on appeal to trends. With a bit of tightening and greater attention to killer pop melody, Showtime could have been an exciting new direction for Spectrum. Sadly, the song never quite gets there.
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First of all, no one does “The Robot” as well as Shindong (of Super Junior).
Secondly, this is basic kpop.
“What do I do” never hit my radar in any way, but I played “Light it up” which was released earlier in 2018 not infrequently back then. “Light it up” is perhaps one of the few chorus beat drop songs I don’t mind for some reason, perhaps because it has a stronger hook than most.