Song Review: – Don’t Know

Debuting a K-pop group is fraught with difficulty even under the best circumstances, but it seems especially ambitious to launch a rookie during a time when promotional opportunities are limited. The industry is rightfully taking a lot of health precautions right now, which means that’s promos will largely be digital. Still, agencies can’t wait forever, and these guys’ names have been kicking around for over a year now. There are performances to be found online from as far back as 2018. It’s been a long wait.

Sadly, debut single Don’t Know (몰라서 그래) isn’t the breakthrough the group needs. This has nothing to do with the guys themselves, who are as polished and eager as any rookie. But, the song is a mess of grating synths and inert melody. The entire track has the same lurching pulse that has waylaid so many “dark” boy group releases of the past few years. It’s a dense brew of skittering percussion and instrumental samples, but no one element stands out. Instead, the finished project comes across as a nebulous blend of trendy flourishes.

Despite some promising vocal touches during the verses, Don’t Know’s melodies are mostly throwaway, cresting with angsty drama but never structured in a way that creates a cohesive whole. The guys are singing, yet most of the hooks here feel more conversational. It’s like the song is engaged in an argument with the listener, and not a very well-delivered one. I’ve listened to Don’t Know at least five times now, and I still can’t recall anything about it. That’s a problem.

 Hooks 6
 Production 6
 Longevity 6
 Bias 6

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