Boy group Noir has largely escaped my attention. I’ve written about most of their title tracks, but promptly forgotten about each one. When it comes to standing out in this generation of K-pop, you’ve got to have a distinct identity. Beyond overused labels like “dark” and “angsty,” I’d be hard-pressed to tell you much about Noir’s concept. But given their group name, I guess you should know what you’re in for.
As its title might suggest, Lucifer doubles down on those aforementioned descriptors. But, it’s the group’s weakest single yet. It’s a lumbering, unmelodic beast driven by aggressive electronics and insistent trap influences. That same statement could be used to describe so many boy group tracks of the year, but Lucifer isn’t able to salvage this uninspired arrangement with a killer hook. Instead, the song dresses itself in all of the expected trappings. Moody pre-chorus underlined by skeletal snare? Yep. Second verse hip-hop break? Right on schedule! At least there are a few interesting quirks buried in the instrumental – even though they’re often covered by autotuned vocals and shout-rap.
Amidst all the song’s bluster, the one element that never materializes is a unique perspective. I firmly believe that any genre (or combination of genres) can be made excellent if an artist or producer really put their own stamp on it. Unfortunately, the K-pop industry’s current state makes that very difficult. I’m heartened to see that Lucifer was created by the same composer who’s produced all of Noir’s work. This consistency should give them a signature sound. But judging by how much of a non-event Lucifer turns out to be, they’d be better off doing something ballsy and brash rather than attempting to retread the music of their peers.
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!