Boy group D1CE have been saddled with a horrible fate for any newly debuted rookie: the long hiatus. We haven’t heard from them since last July, sacrificing almost a year of unfilled potential. It’s hard enough to build momentum when you’re from a smaller agency, but lack of activity makes for an even trickier situation. I wasn’t really sold on their 2019 debut track Wake Up – or any song on their album, for that matter – but I’m always up for second chances.
Unfortunately, Draw You (너를 그린다) sounds like a group sputtering to its end, rather than an up-and-coming force in the industry. Though the track does an admirable job highlighting their vocals, its sound is rather forgettable. In fact, minus its slight trap influences, Draw You reminds me of the typical mid-tempo effort you’d find on the second half of any 2010’s boy group album. That doesn’t make it a bad song, but it does make it utterly devoid of unique personality. Two releases in, and I’m not sure what D1CE are bringing to K-pop that can’t be found elsewhere.
On the plus side, Draw You has a refreshingly old-school approach to song arrangement. The instrumental swells in all the right places, even bringing in some guitar for the climax. D1CE sound great throughout. Like most rookies, they clearly have the talent necessary. Now, they just need the individual perspective. What kind of mark are they hoping to leave on the K-pop landscape? If the wish is to become a new-gen pop ballad group (à la BTOB), then I’m gonna need some jaw-droppingly good vocals or incredible songwriting. In both regards, Draw You is okay, at best.
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