Review

Song Review: Luminous – Run

Luminous - RunThere have been a few small-agency debuts over the past day or two. My busy schedule – coupled with an indifferent opinion – has meant I haven’t covered any of these. But, I’d like to write about Luminous’s Run because I think the song is quite good. It’s straightforward and won’t likely set the industry on fire, but sometimes that’s all you want in a K-pop single.

Run is a hip-hop dance track with electro bass and trap influence. But, those familiar hi-hat rolls are integral to the character of the beat, not simply window dressing thrown over the top. This results in production that feels confident and clean. Even when the instrumental slows for the pre-chorus, enough connective tissue remains to pull these segments together. It’s refreshing to hear an arrangement this consistent, and this gives Run’s melodic hooks plenty of space to flourish.

As with most rookies, Luminous’s performance has a way to go. But, this style of track feels right for them. More importantly, it’s anchored by an addictive chorus. I often write about choruses that are cobbled together from disparate scraps of melody and superfluous chants. Run’s hook could have easily succumbed to this same issue. After all, the refrain isn’t overly melodic. But, the topline traces the contours of the groove and slots together in a funky structure that works very well. All that’s missing is a strong sense of Luminous’s own identity. Hopefully, that will come in time. For now, I’m surprised how enticing this debut is.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

12 thoughts on “Song Review: Luminous – Run

  1. not another song that shares the same title as nick oppar’s favorite song of 2020, run. we already got sorn’s debut sharing the same title, what’s next?

    that said, when i watched the mv, i thought the song was gonna be a ballad, until one of the members turned off the radio and the actual song played. instead we got basic boy group fare as our song. a 7.5/10 at best.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. For some reason I struggled with that last paragraph. Guess I can’t Nickglish today.

    The whole affair, from the song to the visual style, looks uncannily like a Kazakh boy band MV. After seeing the company’s name I had to go and check if it wasn’t a foreign group trying to make inroads in Korea.

    Anyways, the song is surprisingly pleasant, perhaps slightly addicting, even if it’s slightly too subdued for my tastes. At least it’s earned a place in my miscellanea playlist.

    Liked by 2 people

      • IDK if the last part was a question, but anyways, I mostly like the older 91 songs and pretty much everything Mad Men have put out, specially Alma and Beri Jaqinda. Then single songs by a few other random groups.

        BTW, I’m not nearly as attuned to Nick’s tastes as other people here, but! Nick-san, I feel you might like this (if the link works. I’m not sure how that works here):

        Liked by 2 people

    • I’m the first proponent and fanboy of complex (and noisy) pop songs in the SM-style, but for all the enthusiasm I get and express for a few days with, say, a Ghost9 comeback, I’ve realized it’s actually songs like this that make most of my day-to-day listening.

      I’m impossibly taken with the slinky little chorus on this one. When I’m not listening to it I’m thinking about it, all the time. I can see this group becoming one of my favorites if they make it long enough to have a decently sized discography.

      (Also, the blonde guy looks like Cody Simpson back when he was cute, so I was intrigued to learn he’s Aussie.)

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  3. Not quite as taken with this one, fairly workaday construction and average delivery in my opinion. Perhaps mid 7’s.

    I too was fooled by the lengthy intro. The song itself when it kicked in was like a booyah the boy sometimes give me. Or I give to him. Guess what? (Nick works in a school, he knows how an American kid answers this.)

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  4. This sure isn’t revolutionary, like Nick already said, but i guess it did enough to put their future releases on my radar.

    Judging by the first verse and the attitude i was 100% ready and unhappilly waiting for a beat drop chorus that would rest exclusively upon the whistle-like synth with the typical dance break… which did happen on the outro but by then i was already satisfied by the 2 choruses and i guess it works as a fine ending after the vocal showoff by the apparently main vocal.

    And there’s a little moment at 2:01 in the first chorus that they pull the beat to let the voices shine that caught my attention. Very nice

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  5. I listened to this song after seeing the review and I agree it was surprisingly nice!! I didn’t think too much of the track they released before this, but this one really felt more polished. The move from the pre-chorus to chorus was done well and when the chorus hit a second time I was already humming along. Also I loved the execution of the dance break! High note leading to the break and that too at the very end of the song! Perfect for me!

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  6. I liked the MEGAMAX EP better (an intro, one bside, and two instrumentals isn’t an EP, BarunsonWip) but I like this title and MV better. It gives a good sense of what the guys have to offer, so I’ll keep my eyes out for more from them in the future.

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