Song Review: Dongkiz – Lupin

With so many of their peers heading down a darker, moodier route, Dongkiz have become a welcome salve for the boy group landscape. It’s hard to imagine anything called “Dongkiz” being the least-bit edgy, but that’s okay. Given all the chaos and anxiety floating around the world right now, I think we could all use a little light entertainment. But even during the best of times, there’s no shame in going upbeat and funky. I wish more groups would realize that.

While it’s not perfect, Lupin offers a few big bright spots. As with so many other modern K-pop tracks, the song’s beat heavy hook makes me long for an actual chorus. And, I wish the pre-chorus didn’t sacrifice so much momentum for its trendy, trap-infused build. But, I’m not in the mood to nag about Lupin’s shortcomings. You’ve heard me complain about these same aspects more than enough times already. Instead, I want to focus on the song’s groove.

This is no skeletal trap dirge (well… excluding that pesky pre-chorus). A sense of giddy rhythm is prominent from the beginning, culminating in a herky-jerky refrain anchored by punches of distorted guitar. I’m not sure how well the specific tone of the synth riff works here, as it quickly grows grating. But, I love the rhythm guitar that underlines the verses. It compensates for a barely-there melody, propelling the track with verve. Dongkiz are at their best when they embrace this kind of addictive energy, and Lupin might have been a total knockout if it had found a way to develop this strength rather than shift between several disparate elements. Still, Dongkiz remain on my shortlist of reliably fun K-pop boy groups. Unfortunately, it’s a list that’s becoming increasingly more exclusive as the year goes on.

 Hooks 7
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

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6 thoughts on “Song Review: Dongkiz – Lupin

  1. .

    First of all, the original “Lupin” by KARA is one of my favorite girl group tracks of all time. That key change in the chorus is a killer.

    This song shares a lot of common elements with “Rock Paper Scissors” from MONT last autumn. The funk bass, the wah wah guitar, the dirty horn samples over the chorus, and a delivery with tongue firmly in cheek. And they both share or copy that funk pop vibe from early Seventeen, the “Mansae” “Adore U” era. I suppose I could assign Seventeen the rock role to these rookies scissors role. (groan)

    I think this song is entertaining enough, for now.


  2. This is kind of completely unrelated to the song, but does anyone have any idea what’s the deal with East Asians and Lupin? It seems as if I’m finding some Lupin-something every week. Super Sentai Lupinranger, anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

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