Following in the footsteps of agency seniors Mamamoo, Purple Kiss preceded their official debut with several pre-releases. My Heart Skip A Beat and Can We Talk Again were polar opposites in sound and style, but both carried a mood that pointed towards a darker, edgier sound for the girls. Debut single Ponzona delivers on this promise, feeling very much like RBW’s answer to Cube Entertainment’s popular group (G)I-DLE.
When it comes to performance and charisma, Purple Kiss are an exciting prospect. From vocals to dance, they craft a compelling product. And Ponzona’s mood draws upon these strengths. But when it comes to melody, the song leaves me cold.
This is nothing new, of course. Melodic refrains haven’t exactly been in vogue these past few years, and RBW has become especially hesitant in this regard. I mean, just listen to most of Mamamoo’s recent singles! So while Ponzona delivers on attitude, its hooks are kind of inert. Even after several listens, no refrain sticks out to my ears. This threatens to make the song feel more like a copy of current trends than its own thing, and that’s a shame because there are some interesting musical flourishes sprinkled throughout. I would have loved to hear a more dynamic shot of energy to match the girls’ intensity. Too much of Ponzona just lurches along without any clear endpoint. It’s the unlikely case of a song making an impact without leaving an impact. That’s a subtle distinction, but it makes all the difference here.