Song Review: Mirae – Splash

Mirae - SplashIn a year without many excellent debuts, Mirae’s Killa easily stands at the top of the pack. The guys emerged with a fully-realized futuristic sound that complimented their group name and showcased their skills. They did exactly what a good rookie is supposed to: invite listeners into their world and make a convincing claim as to why they’re a vital part of K-pop’s overburdened landscape. I guess DSP Media disagreed, because every bit of that unique identity has been stripped away for the ultra-generic Splash.

My worry around this song began with its tracklist credits. Gone are interesting producers like TAK and Alawn, replaced by familiar production-teams-for-hire. Joombas’s musical output, in particular, has only grown more faceless with time. And unfortunately, Splash could have been peddled by any boy group with similar results. It’s plug-and-play K-pop – competent but unexciting.

This sucks for Mirae, who seemed so assured in their image earlier this year. Splash is *fine* in the way that a lot of K-pop is *fine.* It ticks the expected boxes, harnessing that heavy, fitful percussion often described as “plodding” on this blog. The rap is brash and impassioned, yet follows a familiar flow. The chorus lurches here and there. It’s not particularly catchy or melodic, but the guys perform it well. Twinkles of synth are buried in the lumbering mix, as if the track is actively trying to stamp out any touch of originality. Only a few months ago, Killa’s lyrics promised “sharp,” “splendid” music. Sadly, Splash is closer to “dull” and “undistinguished.”

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7


17 thoughts on “Song Review: Mirae – Splash

  1. The Mini-album is more than incredible! Bang Up, #Secret could’ve made for excellent titles and follow their concept just fine. Mirae’s vocals remain good as always but I long for a song with an excellent use of their “Killa”.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. There are times these days when kpop behaves just like fast fashion. One trend emerges, lots of others follow in a mad crush. This descending line by half notes. Its in two songs just today. This is the first – the other is YouHa “Ice Tea”.

    Gotta be honest, this is pretty generic dark theme to me, including the latest trend of descending half note line.

    I was going to make a side reference to better dark theme awesome song by Yoon Mirae, such as this gem ‘ (Jessi wouldn’t exist without Yoon Mirae). But hey wow I found a new indie fave this morning in my suggested feed to make a side reference too instead! Jungtune + Woojae “Highball dreams”. Sure the song is kinda generic too, but hey wow look they are actually performing it, like liveish live live. These duo has talent, songwriting, performance. Who are these people, and where have they been hiding? This is the better version of that “Alcohol free song” that we were asking for, complete with a tink tink on a bottle. And then, then! I scroll down on the comments and my other favorite indie Yunsae commented. Be still my heart! (Yunsae says “cute, I’m dying!”)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Man…. I’m deeply disappointed. I thought I had finally found a group that suited my style PERFECTLY, but I guess not. The song isn’t half bad. I like the prechorus and the dubstep dance break, but it brings nothing new to the table.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. You are not wrong. I hear Jun Hyuk’s booming rap, and Lien’s high notes, and they make it feel like a different, better song is trying to bust through the walls and put a stop to this nonsense.

    I do really, really like the rest of the album. It has the power and personality that Splash lacks. It’s not quite as innovative as the best of Killa, but it shows versatility and a softer, fun side. In fact, I’m just going to pretend Splash doesn’t exist. Mirae’s new EP Bang Up has a great title track and bsides. There. Don’t even have to change the cover art.

    I hope DSP doesn’t pull their punches next time.


  5. I’ve got such mixed feelings here! On the one hand, I’m that dreaded fourth gen stan who got into kpop partially due to my fondness for this kind of song. On the other hand, I’ve consumed enough new and older releases over the last nine-ish months (guided in part by this blog) that I have a better sense of what makes a better track of this style and what just floats along with the trend. “Killa” was definitely the first, and while I still put “Splash” a step above the pack, it’s not a big step, and knowing they have and therefore could do more puts a damper on my enjoyment of it. It’s actually fairly similar to my feelings about “Thunderous” a couple of days ago. Still, from a personal perspective, both songs are perfectly serviceable additions to the bangers playlist, and from the sound of it there’s plenty to enjoy in the b-sides, so I’ll just hope the stages are fun and that playing to the trends sells well enough to keep building MIRAE’s fan base so there might be another “Killa” in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As a person who isn’t really much of a fan of this kind of song anyway, I do kind of like some bits, partially because I’m imagining this song done by PIXY though they’d certainly have better vocal lines (though this is rated higher than their tracks so I can’t say much about that haha). It’s certainly lacking a lot of personality. Too much of it feels too much like another iteration. Particularly that chorus. Sometimes too noisy, using instruments that don’t compliment the song, having some bad melodies, etc.

    I don’t know why k-pop likes putting bravado and attitude over song but it is what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yeah… Not what I was expecting from them after Killa, but I actually kinda like it. A few more listens and it’ll probably enter my playlists (without ever becoming a *very* exalted member or anything, but still 🤷🏻‍♂️)

    (On a shallow aside, Sangmin with dark hair and dark clothing… 🙂 )

    Now, the mini itself does meet and surpass expectations, oui. Bang Up was very obviously gonna end up as my favorite, but Secret having a teen rock sound much like the brave new TXT, and Don’t Stop being such a shameless rip-off of Misfit with, I feel, some touch of Love Scenario of all things, make it quite a solid release. Actually, I think Sugar is the only completely throwaway song here, and so I’m sure I’ll be listening to this from beginning to end quite a bit in the future, like I usually do with all the pre-Wave CIX releases (and Verivery!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ok so admittedly not the futuristic summer banger that I was hoping for. I think the whole mini just harkens back to the strong album vs strong title track debate. I lean towards those favoring strong albums. If this had been their debut things might have been different but for now if I can only have one, I’ll take a strong album over a strong title.
    So, for now I will choose to be the optimist and hope they pull a savage i.e., dropping two particularly good titles around one unfortunate low bar.

    Liked by 1 person

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