Girl group Laboum recently moved to a new agency, with Kiss Kiss their first release under new management. I would love to see the girls break the dreaded “seven year curse,” which strikes when idol groups’ initial contracts have lapsed. Having debuted back in 2014, they’re already on the right track. But, they’re going to need strong material to keep their name prominent this late into their career. Kiss Kiss is very pleasant, but I wouldn’t call it “strong.”
On the plus side, this soft, melodic sound is something we need more of from girl groups. With GFriend and Lovelyz both disbanding this year (major, super, depressing R.I.P), there aren’t any girl groups left who reliably cater to this musical taste. Even Oh My Girl have transitioned to new sounds. I have a massive soft spot for this style of song, but prefer when it’s given more oomph. Kiss Kiss incorporates so many of the right ingredients. It just needs some spice.
Instead, the track veers closer to being a lullaby. It feels like one of those great Iggy/Youngbae GFriend singles with most of the percussion and drive removed. Some segments also recall vintage Apink, but these groups would have delivered a sleek new jack swing beat or sticky synth hook. Kiss Kiss comes close to offering the latter, as an effervescent synth line runs through parts of the chorus. But despite a strong vocal and engaging climax, the song feels stuck in one gear. A more memorable hook would have helped offset the sleepiness of the instrumental.