Song Review: Victon – Chronograph

Victon - ChronographWe all have our specific musical preferences, and I’m a sucker for breathless energy and hard-hitting electro-funk. You can place almost any song over a blazing K-pop beat and I’ll be satisfied. Up to this point, Victon’s discography trended toward more leisurely-paced material, though member Do Hanse’s Take Over hinted at more dynamic sounds.

From the moment I heard the teaser for Chronograph, I knew this would be a comeback to anticipate. The instrumental alone caught my ear, fueled by chugging guitar and driving energy. This specific sound is its own kind of K-pop trope, but it gets me pumped every time. And minus an ill-placed tempo shift during verse two (of course!), Chronograph largely delivers on its promise. When it gets going, its propulsive sound is unstoppable. The chorus is simple but sticky, matching the intensity of the production. And when we reach the song’s truncated climax, Victon deliver the sort of SHINee-esque vocal firepower that makes a song like this really pop.

Yet, Chronograph also cuts a few corners. It will undoubtedly become a staple on my own playlist, but it falls short of unadulterated excellence. The second verse rap is oddly constructed, with that aforementioned drop briefly sacrificing momentum. And at just under three minutes, the song is too short to build toward any truly revelatory moment. But, those are nitpicks. When it comes down to it, that incredible guitar will be enough to keep me coming back again and again. And like UP10TION’s similarly-constructed Spin Off, this may grow even stronger with time.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

17 thoughts on “Song Review: Victon – Chronograph

  1. I have to listen again. it’s strong until Hanse comes in, when it’s exceptional. And then the rest of the song sounds drab in comparison. It might be me, But there’s nothing stopping it from getting on the roller rink playlist, no sir.


      • I didn’t listen to the previews but I did prepare myself for possible disappointment when Nick tweeted about it sounding promising (although to be fair, he did like “Take Over”). We’ll see if this one grows on me but I don’t expect it to top “What I Said”.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I agree. I am less enamoured of the SHINee electro-funk sound than Nick (which is of course entirely fine and a question of personal preference!) and Hanse’s rap was my favourite part of the song, especially since they gave it enough bars to let it breathe.

      (But that may be personal bias on my part. I only just discovered Hanse’s solo album from last year and I loved it so much – he’s immediately become one of my favourite idol rappers.)

      Also, the lyrics and performance of the English version are surprisingly solid! Even the rap, which is surely one of the hardest things to maintain between languages!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m all for the standard high energy Kpop trope like this.

    The chorus to me resembles Superhuman. And yes, the 2nd verse rap, though awesome, seems to belong to some other song. Note the vocal slide up at 2:39 which is delightfully showing off. I mean, that slide is just about untuneable, so the singer has to just nail it. Yassss.

    If I had a quibble, its the phrasing in the chorus, which I heard as
    No chro
    No graph
    and what does that mean?
    Apparently the line is “Love Chronograph”, “Love” being a hard word for Koreans to pronounce without a solid L and V in their alphabet, and well what does that mean? The lyricist clearly came up the words, then spends the rest of the chorus explaining what the heck a Love Chronograph is, which for the record is You’re making me spin, with you every minute feels like a second, and I just can’t get enough. Alrighty, another one in the annals of pop lyrics.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve replayed that slide several times – that’s main vocal Seungsik, who debuted as a musical theater actor last year and is one of my favorite vocalists. He and one of the other members put out an OST last month that I’ve been absolutely obsessed with.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is basically Spin Off, with a slightly lesser chorus, and a slightly less irritating second verse breakdown. Also, the chorus instrumental’s bubbling synth is weirdly similar to Atlantis. Both of the above are positive things. I’m also a sucker for that kind of sliding up high note that they did here.
    The only things that bother me are that 1. less than 3 minutes is not enough for a song 2. while the aforementioned high note was awesome, an instrumental change-up would have been great. 3. it’s definitely a little more sanitised and smoother than I would like – make the synths grittier if you’re going for this genre, producers.

    Even then, it beats What I Said to become my favorite Victon single yet.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This was a really good song! I was excited right from the teasers! I agree with the above comments saying it gave off Spin Off and Atlantis vibes – two songs I really loved last year!

    It was extemely short but still felt packed – I have a feeling this will grow on me with a few performances! When What I Said came about I didn’t really like it much but their stages were so fun and I found it really catchy later! 🤭 Since this one already made a strong impression I think it can only go up from here!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like but am not immediately in love – I preferred the more Latin sound and harder hitting rap in “What I Said” to this style – but I love Victon and they mostly use the members well here. Agreed that Hanse’s rap verse is a bit out of place – I generally love how he balances out the smother vocals in their slower songs, abut it doesn’t blend quite as well here. I really hate to say it but this might have been a good candidate for not having a rap verse, or even only using the low-tone talk-rap they’ve got Subin doing. Of course that wouldn’t fly on a title track because they’ve got to give Hanse something to do – but it does feel like a situation where the song would have been improved if it didn’t have to check off the k-pop boxes.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Similarly to everyone else I too immediately thought of Atlantis, even the structure and run time is similar. That of course just means I really like it, even if it’s not quite as perfect as Atlantis. (of course to me few things are.)
    Its funny though, before I got into kpop I really never thought about the genera of music I was listening too. If I liked it or not that was all there was to it. Yet I guess I too am heavily biased towards electro-funk because I am always easily swayed by songs like this.
    On the bright side I am pretty sure Victon announced this comeback as the beginnings of a trilogy, so I am really excited to see whatever comes next.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. To me it’s like Atlantis-SHINee for the funk and Born to be Wild-JO1 for its breathless energy except that those two songs are more grounded and more confident with their hooks. Being similar to those two great songs should have made this almost legendary but it might be some minor production choices that prevent it from being that mind blowing. I hope it knew better what to do with its hooks because that chorus is up there with the two songs mentioned above. A song sounding this big should have been longer and I think a strong prechorus or postchorus can make it better. Still this is the strongest Victon track in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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