Rookie group DRIPPIN impressed me with their first mini album, but given Woollim Entertainment’s track record with boy groups, I was almost guaranteed to like their music. Still, Nostalgia had a gracefulness that set the group apart. Coupled with an excellent chorus, the song pointed toward an exciting future for DRIPPIN. Follow-up Young Blood isn’t quite as good, but its jaunty house beat keeps the groove going.
Produced by the prolific Monotree team, who have already delivered a few 2021 classics, Young Blood feels more straightforward than many K-pop title tracks these days. It sets out to be an upbeat dance song and rarely strays from that template. If I had my way, the synths would be brighter and more energetic, but I love the electro bass that runs through most of the track. It’s a good match for DRIPPIN, spotlighting the variety of their vocal colors. Like AB6IX’s debut-era singles, which also followed this sonic template, Young Blood has tons of room to grow as its charms become more familiar.
The song opts for a skeleton of a chorus, which is both a benefit and drawback. The sprightly hook works well within the song’s arrangement, though I can’t help but imagine what a more robust chorus (think: ONF’s Beautiful Beautiful) might have done to the track. I’m not a fan of that second verse breakdown, which shoehorns jarring hi-hat rolls into the mix for no apparent reason. A song like Young Blood thrives on consistency of groove, and these brief interruptions are a detriment. Still, the track’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, and DRIPPIN get an extra “bias” point by benefit of their lineage alone. Check with me a month from now and I’m sure I’ll have played this song to death.