Boy group E’Last debuted this spring with a theatrical sound that hearkened back to older generations of K-pop. I really enjoyed their single Swear, but didn’t return to it nearly as much as I would have thought. Still, I’m excited to see the group maintain their dramatic flair with new track Tears Of Chaos (눈물자국). It’s awash in bombastic production, which helps elevate an otherwise humdrum melody.
The key word with E’Last is “potential.” I love what they’re trying to do, but I don’t think their songs are quite there yet. Tears Of Chaos was composed by some of the same creators as Swear, and faces similar challenges. These producers clearly know how to arrange a track, giving space where needed and delivering knockout punches during all the right moments. Yet, I wish they would have conjured a more dynamic melody. As fun as Chaos’ chorus is, it’s essentially the same line repeated over and over. Why not utilize a more dynamic collection of notes? Bring some of the lines up or down, rather than simply copy and paste. Tears Of Chaos’s climactic centerpiece is more monotonous than it should be, and that’s a shame.
Thankfully, the group’s performance helps compensate for the lack of melodic diversity. Much of the song is performed in unison, or with one voice backed by a hushed choir of others. This adds to Chaos’ operatic appeal, and transforms a relatively straightforward track into something quite grandiose. If I had it my way, we’d kick up the tempo a bit in places to further enhance the drama, but I love that every inch of the instrumental is dripping with symphonic flourishes. It’s a refreshingly ambitious concept, and has quickly distinguished E’Last from the pack.