Review

Song Review: GHOST9 – X-Ray

GHOST9 - X-RayRookie group GHOST9 have been going nonstop. Less than two years into their career they’re already on their third series of albums. Following their Pre Episode and Now projects, the guys have arrived at the Arcade for a mini album that launches a new concept. X-Ray is the first tease, and it’s a frustrating song.

It’s easy to dismiss tracks that lack any redeeming features, but sometimes the most maddening comebacks are the ones that come close to excellence but sabotage themselves in the process. I hear greatness in X-Ray’s chorus (and pre-chorus), but it’s undercut by K-pop-by-numbers verses that drag the production down. This now familiar blend of rap and vocals needs a makeover. YOUNITE’s recent Everybody proved how fun and vital rap verses can be when given ear-catching flow and personality. But, X-Ray’s verses go nowhere. They’re simply a bunch of “blah blahs” and “yah yahs” without any vision – a mix of halfhearted vocals and angsty posturing.

X-Ray comes to life during its pre-chorus. The song gains focus, introducing dramatic synth textures as the performance finally shapes into a compelling melody. This continues into the standout chorus, which ties a simple refrain to brisk percussion and chugging guitar. At last, the track has a perspective of its own! GHOST9’s producers can’t resist temptation to play with tempo as X-Ray moves toward its finale, but we end on a (predictable) high as a chanted hook concludes this mixed bag of a comeback. The song finishes with more highs than lows, but with an overarching title like “Arcade” I hope the group leans into X-Ray’s stronger moments for their next single.

Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

19 thoughts on “Song Review: GHOST9 – X-Ray

    • i was skeptical about Champion’s chorus at first but the entire song is pretty solid and might even make a better title track

      personal favorite is T.Y.T (Take You There), the
      prechorus and chorus are very nice (verses a bit slow)…mayb buried treasure?

      always, all ways isn’t that interesting production-wise but i like the genre and chorus

      Liked by 1 person

      • This is the same group that released “up all night” ? That song’s melody always pops up in my head when im at work. I hope to hear another addictive single from them soon

        Like

  1. I’ve never much cared for Ghost9, so I was surprised to find that I like this one. I think what saved the verses for me was that little staticky sound that went through the whole song. I like those sort of sounds. I reaaly enjoyed the choreography, too. Their movements look really loose and free-flowing. It reminds me of Omega X.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. GHOST9 have always made frustrating singles, which sucks when considering the fact that these guys absolutely kill in their performances!

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  3. I like this very much. I must be the only one that liked bright and sunny Ghost9 because I played the hell out of Now We Are in Love, but never warmed too much to them. But i like X-Ray and the b sides and how nice of them to make a song (Champion) that works on this playlist.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like this very much. I must be the only one that liked bright and sunny Ghost9 because I played the hell out of Now We Are in Love, but never warmed too much to their other stuff. But i like X-Ray and the b sides and how nice of them to make a song (Champion) that works on this playlist.

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  5. I really like this, especially the chorus and the bridge. But I also like Ghost9 in general so I think this works. Would be a similar rating for me as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So- Ghost9 chorus is great, but verses aren’t hot. Not surprised there. That’s a consistent trend for them in their title tracks.

    I’m gonna go give their b sides a listen now. I always like them more than their title tracks.

    Like

    • Time for B-side Review from a Ghostie

      Champion- 8.25/10 Not bad. A bit groovy, but nothing out of the park. I appreciate the prechorus and chorus. Ghost9 have great vocals and I love when they utilize them. Especially my man junhyung.

      Take You There- 7.75/10. A nice simple ballad. I love the vocals of the boys as always. However, I don’t think I’m gonna search this out on my playlist.

      Always, All Ways- 8.25/10 Starts off a bit slow, but then serves. PRECHORUS and chorus are very feel good. A feel like that’s a trend with them. A nice uplifting bridge too. Well-rounded song.

      (To be continued)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Okay part 2.

      Stranger- 8/10. A simple groovy song. It’s very pleasing to the ears (PRECHORUS and chorus combo). This is a song I would pull up to study and vibe to. Gotta love their vocal heavy songs. The song keeps the same vibe the whole time though. Not bad, but doesn’t keep me entirely interested. Still, it feels good.

      Overall, I like the b sides champion and Always, All Ways the most. However, their album as a whole isn’t winning me over. I’m sad because their first four mini albums had amazing soundscapes. These two recent albums have more hit or misses in the albums.

      I’m happy that each song has a banger PRECHORUS and chorus. That’s one thing I can count on them for, which is reassuring.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I 100% agree that the last two albums have been much more hit or miss than their first four, which is disappointing from the perspective of someone who liked to loved every single track on those first four releases. Looking in my library, I gave their first EP an average 5/5 stars (love), #2-4 averaged 4/5 (really like), and #5 averaged 3/4 (like). Now I’m finally getting back to a re-listen of Arcade two weeks after release and I don’t know that I’m even going to playlist everything because I’m pretty much settling between 2 stars (okay) and maybe 3 (like) on everything, and that’s not super inspiring. I keep getting hints of the talent that attracted me to them in the first place, but if the material isn’t strong even a solid performance isn’t always enough.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ok so I know everyone is here for the music but I did a little digging and Ghost9 has to date released six mini albums (5 full songs plus one intro) since debuting on September 23 2020. That is a total of thirty full songs plus six intros in one year, six months and fifteen days. Which averages out to Ghost9 having a comeback approximately once every 93 days or basically every three months since their debut. I know Kpop moves at warp speed but that’s just crazy to me. Honestly its a lot if a group manages three comebacks in a year and yet Ghost9 has managed double that in barely over a year and a half. I feel like this has to be some kind of record. I mean I’m impressed I just hope the members are ok with the pace. And on a purely logistical level I really want to know how Maroo entertainment is pulling this off given Ghost9’s sales aren’t exactly spectacular yet and the only other name tied to their label that pulls in much fanfare that I know of is Park Ji-Hoon (who hasn’t had a comeback since late 2020). I applaud their very impressive efforts I’m just really curious is all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think given the fact that two members (their best vocalists) left, Maroo’s management isn’t *that* great. But I agree the fact that they are doing such consistent comebacks is so impressive…I’m so curious how they have the money. This is kinda similar to Kingdom except Kingdom has more hype and likely more funds. Also Ghost9’s albums are somehow very consistent and they work with mostly same producer group which is cool too.

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  8. Last year Ghost9 was surprisingly one of my top groups with all three title tracks ranking high on my favorite lists!

    X-ray is a bit different from there stuff from last year but the prechorus and chorus were good and Junhyung is such a damn good vocalist that I can listen to anything he sings 😂

    But I understand why they took this direction. Because it benefits the other members tremendously! I felt Control (a super grower) last year was one of their hardest songs and I really thought that a couple of them struggled with the vocals there during performances.

    Junhyung is a fantastic vocalist and he pretty much carries most of the difficult parts and especially the higher pitches. But most of the others are stronger at lower or moderate registers… and so choosing a rather rap oriented song with just a few vocally rich parts benefits them as a team overall and… hopefully help with stable and easier stages.

    I actually appreciate a group that tries to play to their members strengths instead of thrusting more and more difficult or experimental stuff at them 😅 I think this will be a real grower soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really hope they do another song like reborn with the low notes…they have not one, but TWO members that did the low “reborn, reborn”

      Like

  9. While everyone was frustrated, here I am casually bopping to this well made song. Sure it isn’t really actively trying to be insane with technicality. Nor does it try to be artistic and create a new interpretation of music. It’s a well made song that doesn’t have anything against it’s way. I love this one. I think after Up All Night, this is my favorite GHOST9 song. It just hits everything I like.

    Liked by 1 person

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