Review

Buried Treasure: Kingdom – Warning

Kingdom - WarningA K-pop group’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.


K-pop’s concept-driven promotion can be a double-edged sword. In fact, I wrote about this very topic last year! In Kingdom’s case, their concept is both their greatest asset and their biggest roadblock. The historical fantasy schtick is what first drew me to their music, but it limits the style of title tracks they can release. Karma certainly fits the Kingdom aesthetic and storyline, yet I don’t think it’s a great song. In contrast, Warning is an instant standout that boasts the album’s hookiest chorus. But, it doesn’t feel in keeping with the group’s concept.

I’m already feeling a bit exhausted with the ‘minimalist bass loop’ territory K-pop has embraced this past year or so, and if Warning’s hook had simply relied on its initial groove, I wouldn’t be writing about it now. But, after dipping into that familiar drop, the song fleshes out and unveils a funky, standout chorus. Kingdom bring a ton of personality to the refrain, chewing on every lyric with a ferocious energy that really helps sell the track.

It’s all quite silly, and that’s what I like about it. Yes, the Renaissance Fair cosplay is fun and dramatic, but it’s satisfying to hear the guys cut loose on a song with more freewheeling momentum. If only we could locate a dance club in their historical fantasy land. Might we coax them into Ye Olde Discoteque?

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5


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9 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Kingdom – Warning

  1. The soundscape for this is very similar to Golden Child’s holy trinity, which means I totally dig this sound. This is one of those songs though that needs a music video for me to be 100% on board when it comes to how am supposed to enjoy this. Is it sexy? Playful? Cocky?

    Anyways, I do wish they would have done a vocal-heavy last chorus to have me addicted. 8.5/10 for me too

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hadn’t checked out their album before i listened to this, but this is really good.

    I’m not yet completely done with the “the ‘minimalist bass loop’ territory” of K-pop, I mean, if anyone were to release a song with that kind of bass loop, it would immediately win an 8 from me for production, 9 if it’s done well. With that aside, I think this was elevated above 8 mainly because their performance and the chorus. 8.75 from me.

    (Also, Karma grew on me a lot. I don’t think I’d given it a rating at first, so, if I had to rate how I feel about Karma right now, I’d give it an 8.25)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It instantly made my Spotify Some Song Cousins are Vibing at the Roller Rink playlist, which to me is a sign of high quality. As the kids say, it’s a bop.

    They’ve really grown on me. I thought Excalibur wasn’t over-the-top enough, and that was insane. How can something with “off with his head” in it not be over-the-top enough?

    Hopefully they can explore the concept of kingdom and power more abstractly so they can have a longer career.

    Like

  4. Personally, I adore renaissance fair cosplay so while I completely get that on one hand their concept could be limited by it, I also think the uniqueness of it outweighs the potential drawbacks. Right now, I imagine their first seven releases are set as the introductions to each of their “king” characters, but what I am super looking forward to is whatever comes after that. Their company has already put a lot of obvious forethought into their overall story, so I am really excited to see what they come up with next.
    Musically I had a feeling warning would be your favorite, my favorite off the album is magical but warning is a close second. I also absolutely love their mini’s intro (Echoes of Nirvana). I know album intros and outros are often considered throwaways, but I really like this one. It reminds me of a movie soundtrack. Before I was even old enough to know what pop song was let alone seek one out, I loved movies and for me the more fantastical they were the better. So epic movie soundtracks were kind of my first ever musical love in life. Kingdom suits my love for fantastical cinematic things perfectly so I guess you could say I was biased from the start.

    Liked by 2 people

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