The album cover for Swan’s digital single Road In The Light proudly declares “Mortals born by “GAIA.” But with the abandonment” …as if we’re supposed to understand what the heck any of that means. This pseudo-mythology pretty much sums up girl group CRAXY – along with much of the K-pop industry! Like so many of their peers, the group seeks to establish their own “lore,” however confounding it might be.
This approach includes the occasional solo release. In this case, main vocal Swan makes her debut with a dramatic power ballad. CRAXY themselves have yet to break into the K-pop big leagues, but I’ve always appreciated their bonkers energy. Road In The Light is far more predictable, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you’re going to slow things down and offer a shot of musical sentimentality, you might as well go big. This comes across as one of those huge Eurovision belters, backed by orchestral flourishes and sung to the heavens, perched high over Seoul.
Swan’s vocal is relatively straightforward, but I like how she attacks the song. Right from the start, her performance is filled with power. This drives the equally straightforward melody, imbuing it with a satisfying level of bombast. Despite all the theatrical flourishes, I’m not sure Road In The Light quite gets there in the end. But, ambition is always appreciated. The style is certainly miles away from any of CRAXY’s past singles, offering a new inroad for hesitant fans.