As soon as I heard that Astro’s Moonbin and Sanha were debuting as a sub-unit, my first inclination was to hope for an opportunity to revisit the more upbeat material from their debut year. You know me… always looking for more bright, uptempo pop music! But as usual, placing specific expectations on a song before you’ve even heard it is recipe for disaster and disappointment. Thankfully, while Bad Idea isn’t quite the jolt of youthful energy I might have hoped for, it’s the funkiest the guys have sounded in a while.
So far, September has been a good month for funk-oriented K-pop. Just as the weather is starting to turn, the industry seems intent on unleashing jams more suited to the summer season. Bad Idea has a much fresher sound than I expected, and hinges on Moonbin and Sanha’s surprisingly robust vocal blend. When I think “vocalist” in Astro, my mind immediately goes to MJ. But, these two forge a potent partnership, excelling on their own but really bringing the excitement when they perform in unison.
Bad Idea is driven by a generous dose of rhythm guitar that keeps the track moving at a clip. Like Stray Kids’ comeback today, the production makes good use of bass. But, it doesn’t stop there. The instrumental has a refreshing fullness to it, augmented by filters that give the final product a retro sheen. Things really heat up as we enter Bad Idea’s effusive pre-chorus, which acts as an unexpected centerpiece before dropping into a slinkier, more subdued hook. Smartly, this is topped off by a second refrain that brings back a sense of momentum. But Bad Idea’s most pleasant surprise is its second verse, which forgoes unnecessary breakdowns in favor of an ultra-rhythmic arrangement that keeps the energy up. More of this, please!