Anyone have the phone number of Woollim Entertainment’s A&R team? We need to have a discussion…
DRIPPIN have been one of the year’s most promising rookies. In fact, they were my top pick of 2020! And while March’s Young Blood didn’t quite live up to their excellent debut Nostalgia, b-side Reach Out Your Hands offered a peek at how brilliant they could be when paired with a perfect pop song. Given their youthful energy and bright personas, the guys seem tailor-made for an upbeat summer comeback. Instead, Woollim have saddled them with the dull Free Pass.
To be clear, Free Pass isn’t a bad song. It’s more of a ‘nothing’ song. It’s largely hookless, with a mid-tempo groove that never distinguishes itself. Held back by this plodding rhythm, the track struggles to find its sweet summer energy. Instead, Free Pass circles around a series of generic refrains. I kept waiting for it to take off – or do something. Give me a shot of vocal harmony. Switch up the rhythm.
Free Pass’s credentials are strong, with a co-write from Monotree’s Inner Child. But, it feels like this song was plucked from the producer’s bargain bin. It’s clearly b-side material, lacking the punch of a great K-pop title track. DRIPPIN do the best they can with the threadbare material, and their exuberance elevates Free Pass in fits and starts. Its good-natured vibe might lend it more longevity than expected, but the guys would have been better off finding their own Let Me or DamDaDi. In fact, all they really needed to do is release Reach Out Your Hands and reap the rewards that a knockout song can deliver.