So far, it feels like AleXa’s story and music videos have gotten more attention than her songs. Though I didn’t write about her October debut, I was impressed with the quality and ambition of its sci-fi video. But several months later, I can’t remember much about Bomb as an actual piece of music. Still, concept is just as important as music when it comes to K-pop, so I guess this isn’t exactly a deal-breaker.
Hailing from Oklahoma, AleXa is the daughter of Korean and American-Russian parents. Her journey within the K-pop industry is both unique and familiar, participating in several competition and reality series before debuting. She even appeared in Produce 48 as a trainee for ZB Label, which is primarily known as a video production company. This would explain why her visuals and mythos are so polished. And honestly, AleXa has the charisma to pull this off. It’s hard to anchor such an over-the-top production without a full group by your side, but she commands plenty of attention on her own.
The only thing that’s missing is a definable, memorable sound. Like Bomb before it, Do Or Die has tons of style but not quite enough substance. As expected from her background, there’s a lot of English thrown into the mix, and it’s the kind of generic platitudes one would expect from a self-empowerment anthem like this. Its verses offer punchy, attitude-driven rap similar to what you might hear in a BLACKPINK or ITZY track, and AleXa sells them well. The pre-chorus is stronger, as the instrumental filters out to spotlight her vocals. This is the song’s catchiest moment, and launches into a decent chorus that brings back the verses’ thumping percussion. ZB Label describes this production as Brazilian funk, and I guess I can hear some of that — especially during the bridge. Nothing quite stands out as vital or unpredictable, but Do Or Die is a solid showcase for AleXa’s cross-cultural appeal.
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