Review

Song Review: Luminous – All Eyes Down

Luminous - All Eyes DownUnder-the-radar group Luminous nabbed a spot on my top 2021 rookies list thanks to the strength of debut single Run. Many boy groups use hip-hop as a base for their sound, but Run harnessed the groovier aspects of the genre to craft a song that felt nostalgic yet fresh. Sadly, new single All Eyes Down (비상) jettisons much of that charm, coming across as yet another burst of boy group bluster.

For me, the issue starts with the beat. It doesn’t feel new or interesting, which would be fine if it got my head nodding. But, it just kind of trudges along, underlined by noisy synth that makes it unapproachable. Even when the tempo rises for the second verse and pre-chorus, the surge proves temporary. After the success of Run’s consistent rhythm, this sense of fitfulness is disappointing.

Thankfully, All Eyes Down attempts to break out of its shell during a standout chorus. I like the power of the vocals here. The mix of melody and spoken retorts works pretty well, though it could do with more development. Distorted guitar brings an interesting texture to this refrain, hinting at the rock-rap hybrid this could have been. Much of this excitement is immediately sabotaged by a dull “all eyes down” post-chorus hook. It’s more annoying than thrilling, and adds to the song’s sluggish, repetitive nature. Judging from the contrast between All Eyes Down and Run, it’s hard to tell where Luminous will go from here. I’m not ready to abandon excitement yet, but this is certainly an underwhelming follow-up.

Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7

7 thoughts on “Song Review: Luminous – All Eyes Down

  1. It is times like these when it is clear that kpop is a product to sell.

    These kids here do a remarkable job on a tiny budget. The song here and also “Run” from some months ago are perfectly fine boy kpop songs firmly in the current aesthetic. Why not them, why something else, what other shiny, noisy toy is distracting us instead? Is it really lacking just that extra 10%?

    I think that its just nth version of this type, like one too many choices in the flavoured fizzy water aisle. As I say, its actually a pretty good song.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I have no plans to drop it! There’ve just been other things to write about lately. But, I anticipate posts like that will make a resurgence as the industry starts to slow for Lunar New Year.

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  2. This kind of song is right up my alley, but I think I’d put it a cut above the average blustery boy band fare, and I think I like it better than “Run”. I really like that big chorus and the rappers and vocalists all show promise. The post-chorus chanting hook is boring but at least it isn’t the entire chorus or song. And they put together a nice MV on what I assume was a tiny budget – it looks like the kind of thing one of the bigger agencies would put out as a b-side performance video, which is perfectly fine. Four stars on first listen with potential to grow to five after I listen to it in the car and make sure my opinion isn’t being inflated by my weakness for lip rings.

    And what is this? A five track EP? With five actual tracks, not an intro, title, b-side, and two instrumentals pretending to be an EP? Nice! I wonder how many of the tracks have the same production team, because “Trouble” does the same okay-but-not-quite-there rap verse followed by promising chorus and rock-influenced instrumental in the second verse that “All eyes down” does, and “Want it more” has similar issues with maintaining the energy on what could be an excellently obnoxious dance song – there’s even a forty brass loop!

    On second listen I was probably awarding the title track a half star for the lip ring and don’t think this will make it to five stars, but it’s a solid four, and I’ll probably playlist everything all of the b-sides except “Scintillation”.

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    • I think it’s intentional for emphasis since they’re zoomed in on that dancer, but it doesn’t appear to be part of the official choreo (0:11 below) so it could be an error. I’d be pretty surprised if it was an error just because it’s so obvious.

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