Song Review: The Midnight Romance – Nightmare

When it comes to pop music, I’ve always followed producers. In fact, that approach became one of the biggest reasons I first got into K-pop. I followed producer Thomas Troelsen, who I’d always admired from his work with Scandinavian acts (including his own brilliant group Private). I mention this because The Midnight Romance’s music and image remind me a bit of Private. Maybe that’s why I have such a soft spot for them.

Since debuting earlier this year, The Midnight Romance have delivered a steady stream of synthpop goodness. And right in time for Halloween, they’ve returned with the spooky Nightmare. Propelled by an icy synth line, the track is their first single to be performed in Korean. As more K-pop artists are adopting this synth style, the group’s music feels part of a wave rather than a curious oddity operating in the corners of the industry. This is to Nightmare’s benefit, as it certainly harnesses some of the same energy that made Blinding Lights such an enduring global smash.

Minue is an engaging frontman. His vocals here are airy but resolute, and offer the perfect texture for an atmospheric pop track like this. But Nightmare’s true highlight is its chorus, which propels with a dramatic flair. The refrain itself is great, but made greater by a climactic guitar-and-drums crescendo ripped straight from a horror film. It’s a gimmicky trick, and that’s what I like about it. The song embraces its own theatricality, and that’s a great fit for this genre. Plus, the guys have a freaking KEYTAR. I’m pretty much guaranteed to love anything that involves a keytar.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


8 thoughts on “Song Review: The Midnight Romance – Nightmare

  1. Oh this song is so Nick. Take that “Take on me” rip off song from the mid-summer that Nick loves so much, make it better, and then add on some cheesy nightmare theming, and Bingo! high 8’s.

    I don’t know what to score it myself, but I was highly entertained for about 4 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • (I still like Retro Love more, if that’s the song you’re referencing)

      But yes, this is like catnip to me. I just don’t get sick of this sound. I don’t know what that says about my taste (or lack thereof), but I’m reveling in it regardless.


    • Wha?! So besides the “80’s retro party” scene in La La Land, it was popular at times in the 80’s mostly because it looked cool in the videos in heavy rotation on MTV, like for example

      Pseudo Echo Funkytown cover. Aus band. Sweet baby I had a huge crush on the keyboardist. ‘

      Devo “Whip It” also has a kinda sorta keytar – they use one in concert more . This video was in super heavy MTV rotation for a long long while. ‘

      But practically speaking, they were highly impractical, because the right hand had no stability while playing, nothing to rest against or register middle C against. That limited the synth line on it to a simple chord progression or single notes played staccato. Really, it just looked cool.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well happy day! Not only did I easily find my old Pseudo Echo album (on vinyl), but also a 12″ dance remix of “Funkytown” (on vinyl), featuring a keytar! I have it playing right now! Amazing. I don’t think my ipods are going to last me 35 years like these have.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is cracking me up. In all my years, I never once considered the practicality of the keytar when it comes to actually playing the thing. I’m just so enamored with its ridiculousness.

        Liked by 2 people

      • My mind actually did immediately go to the impractical side of it haha. I can’t imagine playing a vertical keyboard that’s also moving with your body, haha.

        That cover is nice! I might like it better than the original, actually. The keyboardist is really feelin’ it. He makes the keytar look even cooler. His hair, though.. that really is a style of a certain time.

        Liked by 1 person

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