Review

Song Review: CIX – Cinema

Though they debuted back in 2019, CIX have yet to release a title track or album that has connected with me. Within the idol worship world that is K-pop fandom, this may lead fans to believe that I have something against the group themselves. But, that’s not the case at all. I just haven’t liked any of their songs so far. It’s as simple as that. Thankfully, new single Cinema ends this unwelcome streak.

Thus far, K-pop’s retro trend has largely been constrained to girl groups and soloists. I’ve been (very impatiently) waiting for the sound to permeate boy group releases as well, and I’m hopeful that Cinema might be the tip of an iceberg. With this track, CIX have reinvented themselves as purveyors of gentle synth pop. The song fully commits to its concept, opening with a movie-themed English-language dialogue. The verses utilize chugging synth bass and airy harmonies to forge a dreamlike sound. The melody itself is a little too hesitant for my taste, but I appreciate the consistency that runs throughout these segments.

Cinema’s trump card is its chorus, which hinges on a catchy repetition of the title. You all know how much I love a chorus that opens on a high note before making its descent. The instrumental becomes punchier here, and the hook has a singalong quality that’s been missing from the group’s work thus far. I’m happy to hear a well-constructed bridge, which adds another shot of momentum before we hit the song’s finale. If I’m being picky, I think Cinema could do with a bit more funk and a bit less airiness, but this is still a welcome surprise.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

11 thoughts on “Song Review: CIX – Cinema

  1. This is quite sweet, I appreciate the bass and the layered airy vocals. I miss a stronger melody, too – nothing quite sticks with me apart from a pleasant groove and the ‘Cinema’ repetition. It sounds more like a good bside to me than a title track.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Well hey wow, this was quite the surprise this morning.
    It starts out all smooth and old fashioned, then just keeps building layers and adding beautiful touches. The second verse, those added harmonies are gorgeous. And then when you think it is just going to repeat the goodness, the bridge comes and just takes us to a new groove. It awesome. Well done boys!

    And it is all sung through, on the recording at least – the music show has the mics barely on as per usual these days (sigh).

    High 8’s for me.

    “Young” is pretty good too, maybe an 8.

    And then there is a b-side song called “Stairway to Heaven” which sounds nothing like the original of that name, more like the drippy BTS b-sides. If you like that Euphoria-Serendipity-Epiphany-Singularity schlock you will like “Stairway to Heaven”. Add Cix’s “Everything” also onto the same schmaltz list from this album too. Yes, it does go, as expected, “You are my everything”. They are all like the aural equivalent of a Lifetime / Hallmark holiday movie to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’d like to add another { sigh } on the music show thing. I don’t need my guys/girls to sound perfect, I would just really like to hear their voices more TT If I wanted to hear the backing track I’d just listen to the studio version..

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I loved this the minute I heard the snippet in the highlight medley. I’m glad they went for this sound because I did not like their last two comebacks.

    Like

  4. I don’t get synthpop from this actually, its that quiet-storm era R&B sound that fits into CIX’s usual R&B niche: in fact the chorus and whistle-synth hook is a direct rip of some oldie i can’t name right now

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    • I don’t think it is that original either, but it is very well produced to a high degree of polish. They made good choices about what not to include.

      Sure, I can hear old school R&B too, My mind went to something Infinite or that era, if Infinite were to be promoting today (sigh), but not being fully aware of their catalog, I can’t place it either.

      Like

  5. I was pleasantly surprised on how the chorus snuck on me, I really like how they elevated it for the final chorus.
    I like this song, I like the r&b flourishes and overall sentiment.
    The vocal colors are really well developed.
    Parts of this really reminded me of BTS Dynamite, but much more tastefully executed tbh

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve personally loved all their title tracks but I’m quite glad they didn’t go with a drop chorus again for this one! Jungle brought the drama and the tenseness and this song counters it with an almost warm and comforting feeling, so I think they pair well as successive releases. For me CIX is just so consistent with the polish of their production.

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  7. Wow! So different from their past title tracks. Unlike most people here, CIX actually has my favorite post-WannaOne output. I wasn’t expecting something different because this is supposed to be a “series”. But what does that even mean in kpop anymore? The change-up really seems to suit them though.
    This is so chill to listen to, so I really like it.
    It gives me the same feelings I got when listening to Lie by Imfact last year.
    From the comments here it looks like I should go check out the rest of the mini!

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  8. Hmm. I think it’s a nice sweet song with a great catchy chorus. But it doesn’t really catch my eye besides the chorus. It will probably grow on me the more I listen, but I realize I am more of a “jungle” by CIX kind of person. I like their intensity in songs like that. But that’s just my personal taste.

    Like

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