Song Review: E’Last – Swear

So far, 2020 has been pretty forgettable when it comes to new debuts. Most of the higher-profile ones have underwhelmed to some degree, and there have been a lot of solid-but-unspectacular, under-the-radar rookies who opt for trendiness rather than innovation. But, every once and awhile we get a CRAXY – with a song so bonkers that it stands out. I wouldn’t call E’Last’s Swear (기사의 맹세) ‘bonkers,’ but it opts for some classic K-pop sounds that help differentiate it from the pack.

This being 2020, Swear can’t completely escape the influx of trap music. It’s omnipresent throughout the track, but doesn’t define it. Instead, Swear stakes its claim on powerful vocals and a surprisingly lush orchestral arrangement. It’s not often that a K-pop single surprises me, but on first listen I found myself engrossed by Swear’s “where will it go next?” charm.

Swear feels like “K-pop song meets symphonic movement,” and I am absolutely okay with that. It ebbs and flows across moments of orchestral grandeur and more expected tropes, culminating in a chorus that’s both melodically subdued and bombastically performed. It’s an odd contrast, but I think it works. At the very least, I love hearing the kind of forceful vocal delivery that characterizes Swear’s hook. I think there was a missed opportunity to build toward one definitive climax, but I’ll happily take the series of peaks that we get. More than anything, it’s gratifying to hear a K-pop debut switch things up a bit. Swear knows how to use empty space to maximum effect. Despite its (awesome) operatic flourishes, it’s a remarkably quiet song – at least compared to the clattertrap production favored by a lot of 2020-era boy groups. I can see Swear drawing me in further and further the longer I listen to it, and that should be the goal of any newly-debuted rookie.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

5 thoughts on “Song Review: E’Last – Swear

  1. Boom! DKB’s Still has gotten defeated and now I am in love with Song and I will probably put it as my 2020 SOTY as of how I am seeing it will grow on me. It’s sounds classical and a sense of refinement paints the air and though , it doesn’t remind me of pure dynamite , Gol-Cha’s Lady but it’s still good. And it may not be bonkers but it’s sense of melody and how I am engrossed to the whole song speaks for itself. for me , no rookie group has came in my radar this year except for E’Last . I’d love to see where they would go next because I love refinement and airy vocals. And I am so obsessed with wanting a good hook and since the current genre did’nt give us any , I’ll give the hook a 10.

    Hooks: 10
    Production: 9
    Longevity : 9
    Bias: 9
    Rating : 9.25
    I have a feeling June is gonna be a good month


  2. .

    Yeah. Its pretty good. … Great? I don’t know, time will tell. It is actually a midtempo, or what passes for a midtempo for kpop, so it at least sounds different than so many others this year. Something about the orchestration also gives me an old ZE:A vibe too – although ZEA would have made the performance more theatrical. Ah, ZE:A, my loves.

    There is a guy in there, the short blonde right at 1:14 and again when that same exact line repeats at 2:20 + 3:20, who sounds like a younger Ryeowook. His name is Choi In, considered to be a dancer. I was struck enough by the aural resemblence to watch the lyric video.

    I wish the choreographer would have given them quieter moves so they could have the space to actually sing. On the recorded version, they seem to have more than a handful of pretty good singers in there, and it is a shame when they performed it live on today’s The Show that they can’t sing it nearly as well because they are too busy moving.


  3. Sounds like what F.Cuz’s Midnight Sun would have been like if it was released in 2020.

    And I still can’t figure out if it’s a good thing or not. It’s been a while since a kpop has left me so confused!


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