Song Review: The Midnight Romance – Midnight Romance

As someone who writes about K-pop every single day, there are few groups I’m not at least casually aware of. But beyond the idol world, Korea is bursting with all sorts of indie acts that don’t often enjoy the same promotion. That’s where youtube teasers come in, and every once and awhile one will catch my attention. This was the case with The Midnight Romance, a four-piece band fronted by a performer who may be familiar to longtime K-pop fans.

The Midnight Romance is led by No Minue, who started his career as part of rock band TRAX with SM Entertainment. Since then, he’s released a variety of music. But, Midnight Romance feels like a real reinvention. The band has hitched themselves to 80’s nostalgia in the best way, even editing their debut music video to look as if it had been recorded on an old warped VHS tape. This is all catnip to a fan like me, and as soon as I heard the song’s brief teaser I was already sold.

Midnight Romance is a hazy synth pop/rock track, heralded by a cascade of sparkling synths and electric guitar. It’s like a brilliant fever dream, lovingly produced to evoke so many musical memories from decades ago. Minue brings down the intensity in his vocals for an airy, textured performance that blends perfectly with the ethereal instrumental. The melody is simple but effective, hinging on a brief hook, repeated often. I don’t know how this will appeal to those who don’t have a built-in love for the era Midnight Romance draws from, but I’m absolutely loving the group’s commitment.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

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9 thoughts on “Song Review: The Midnight Romance – Midnight Romance

  1. Yes! Yes! Yes!
    80+ rock = loved by helloall101
    I would rate it even higher!
    Also Nick it is No Minwoo not No Minue
    As MYMAGOOGLE would say: thank you for the public service Nick


  2. .

    What a coincidence, the BTS “Your Eyes Tell” Japanese TV “Live” performance also resembled an old 80’s video with blurry audio and video as if an old VHS was unearthed and copied onto another VHS tape, and then recopied onto disc (with a “c”), and onto a computer, and onto another computer, and then uploaded.

    The instrumental was spot on 80’s. They must have used a vintage synthesizer from back when, some old Yamaha DX7 or something. The guitar has that resonance of every 80’s power band ever copying The Edge (… of U2).

    But the vocal, not quite there. They didn’t really have that kind of vocal processing back then. There were a few effects = phone effect, echo effect, whatever the Dream Academy “Life in a Northern Town” effect is called. But I can’t remember one like the one here. Also, for this style of instrumental, a crystal clear booming power tenor male vocal was the usual expectation, viz Day6 “days gone by” awesome nostalgia trip. For a Real 80’s example, try Mister Mister “Broken WIngs” ‘ or “Kyrie” ‘

    Which is not to say the song isn’t enjoyable. It is very enjoyable. But only half extra credit points for 80’s nostalgia from me.

    While I am on 80’s Nostalgia, may I offer for your viewing enjoyment some superb pop rock from Down Under: Icehouse “Electric Blue” featuring the best mullet that ever graced MTv, and as a bonus the de rigeur classic 80’s sax solo. Fun fact: this song was co-written by Oates, of Hall & Oates.


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