Among many other issues, this year in K-pop has felt very underwhelming when it comes to debuts. This was to be expected after 2019 showered us with exciting new groups, but I’ve definitely been missing that super rookie energy lately. Instead, we’ve seen a handful of emerging acts from smaller agencies. Woo!ah! hails from new agency NV Entertainment, which apparently has an ex-SM employee at its helm. Their self-titled debut hints at better things to come, but is undone by haphazard mixing and a general lack of flow.
Right off the bat, I like the bass-heavy instrumental. It’s the kind of sound most K-pop songs would briefly plunge into after their first chorus, but this style works better as the backbone to an entire track. Unfortunately, things become messier from here. Woo!ah!’s chorus is solid, if unremarkable, but devolves into a cluttered blend of muted electronics as we move into verse two. The vocals sound as if they’re underwater, and the claustrophobic arrangement does the song no favors. Then of course, there’s the incessant trap influences. The less said about those, the better.
Things improve as Woo!ah! moves into its bridge. The mixing is still oddly muddled and the vocals are all over the place, but I appreciate the effort to infuse the final chorus with more oomph. Ultimately, I don’t think anything about this track is noteworthy enough to establish the group domestically or internationally, but there are sparks of potential here and there.
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