Rookie group UNVS had a promising debut this past February. But if I’m being honest, I haven’t returned to it since. Such is the challenge with new acts. There are already so many K-pop groups to follow, and unless a rookie promotes often and releases undeniably ear-catching material, they’re likely to fall by the wayside. However, one thing I appreciated about debut track Timeless was its melodic focus and sense of musical continuity. That approach carries through to new single Give You Up, though to a lesser extent.
Give You Up takes awhile to reach a place that truly impresses. Its opening verse is the kind of navel-gazing mood bait that characterizes every 2020 boy group track, made tolerable by a nice shift in tempo as the segment unveils. The chorus opts for Seventeen-esque grandeur, à la Don’t Wanna Cry. I appreciate the attempt, but the hook here is only solid – not transcendent. It would help if the vocals didn’t sound so buried within the production.
The song continues this way for some time, briefly clawing out of its angsty murk with moments of promise. It’s not until the bridge that Give You Up really starts to build. The instrumental takes on added weight as the percussion picks up and the vocals begin to soar. From two-thirds through, the track becomes what it should have been the entire time. It’s too little, too late to make a significant difference, but it gives me hope that UNVS haven’t abandoned the strengths that made me notice them in the first place.
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This appeared on my youtube feed this morning, and I had to do a double take because I didn’t know if I had heard them before. The coffee hadn’t kicked in, so my mind went to Oneus first – no, not them. Then to how pronounce Unvs. Many ideas here. (Universe?) The youtube red bars showed I had listened to several of their previous songs in the recent past. Then I must admit I go back on the kpopreviews tab above to check what I said about the previous one.
As you say, Nick, whoosh, couldn’t remember that one either..
Its nice. It hits all the marks. So the thing is, if the market weren’t so oversupplied, and there weren’t so many dominant groups this might have been a minor hit. This could have been a release from a larger agency by almost any one of the 5 or 6 bigger name groups we all reviewed over the past few weeks and get sales and much more notice. As is, it will probably linger on the Kville charts ranked in the 80’s or 90’s or so and then quietly disappear. I wish them well, but I am not hopeful here.
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