Review

Song Review: Blackswan – Tonight

It feels as though DR Music just can’t learn from their mistakes. It’s admirable how they refuse to let Rania fully disband, whether that’s via a “BP Rania” reboot or this new Blackswan project (whose debut album is actually titled “Goodbye Rania”). Following the group’s career is like watching a soap opera. But, it’s also incredibly problematic. To a large extent, BP Rania used member Alex Reid as a gimmick, resulting in some very cringeworthy marketing choices. And to me, the name “Blackswan” feels tacky, almost as if the agency is setting up new member Fatou (of Senegalese descent) as an oddity of some sort.

Trying to ignore all the promotional choices, Blackswan’s “debut” single Tonight is actually quite solid. As a piece of music, it hearkens back to K-pop’s second generation of girl groups, devoid of cutesy aegyo but never falling into predictable girl crush tropes either. Its instrumental brings in layers of rock guitar, giving the production a big, distorted appeal. It’s been a long while since we’ve heard a girl group title track that takes this approach. The stomping percussion gives Tonight plenty of forward drive, ensuring that the energy remains high throughout.

Blackswan give a powerful performance that largely sidesteps affectations. Fatou takes charge of a rap verse during the bridge, and her deeper tone is a nice change from what we often hear in girl group tracks. Tonight’s chorus does a nice job riding the song’s groove, composed of two complimentary refrains that each embrace the song’s bombastic style. Nothing here is going to reinvent the wheel, but Blackswan have quickly carved out a musical niche for themselves. On a lighter note, all I can hear during the first part of the chorus is “take the, take the cheese,” which is… distracting, to say the least.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

9 thoughts on “Song Review: Blackswan – Tonight

  1. This Rania group has been through so many changes why bother even calling the album “Goodbye Rania”, just really truly start over with a new name. Why belabor this latest reincarnation with that history?

    This song is so 2012-2013 era girl group song sound. This song, and perhaps their label, are so stuck in five ten years ago. If you told me this was a cover of a Brown Eyed Girls power song, I would believe you. I mean, its OK, its produced and performed well enough, its just not very contemporary. Since this style was never my thing, its success will depend on how everyone else feels about it, if this kind of retro is what they are craving.

    I didn’t hear “take the, take the cheese” until you pointed it out, and now I can’t unhear it. Who am I kidding, I am not listening to the song again anyway.

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  2. Nick i think their label is called DR Music, Danel Entertainment are just the people publishing it (i think). They are like Genie Music and 1theK.

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  3. i really do not like DR Music at all!….just like Star Empire Entertainment (9Muses) and CJ E&M (Spica), they are horrible and should not be allowed even go near another kpop group or individual, let alone manage them….there is 1 reason and 1 reason only that i even still am willing to take a look at this ex-Rania group, and her name is Hyeme….if this latest attempt bombs, if i were each of the ladies in this group, i’d get the hell away from DR Music!

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