I chose Mirae as my favorite rookie of 2021 due to the strength of their single Killa as well as their entertaining presence in variety. But, follow-up track Splash revealed a weakness in their armor. Like so many K-pop acts, their sound seems dictated by a “throw everything at the wall” approach rather than an intentional through line. This makes it difficult to anticipate future comebacks with unabashed excitement. But while new single Marvelous may be no Killa, it begins to steer the guys back in the right direction.
Rather than hinge upon the futuristic sounds that marked their debut, Marvelous opts for a lighter touch. It strikes a balance we don’t often hear from boy groups these days. It’s not relentlessly dark and angsty, but I wouldn’t call it bright and buoyant either. It finds a nice middle-ground – melodic but a little rough and tumble. Most of my favorite songs tend to fall within this sonic landscape.
Marvelous bops along an insistent dance beat, drawing upon multiple K-pop trends from the past few years. An early 90’s club thump competes with atmospheric synth squiggles as the verses deliver a solid blend of rap and sung vocals. It’s nothing original, but I appreciate the consistent and upbeat energy. The song stakes most of its claim on an ebullient chorus. It’s a supremely catchy hook, harnessing the tried-and-true power of a potent “mamama, nanana.” I’m concerned it may be too simplistic to have much staying power, but for now I can definitely get behind Marvelous’s exclamatory verve. Better yet, the track finds space for a few great flourishes, highlighted by a dynamic bridge that hints at the immense potential showcased in Killa.