Review

Song Review: DKZ – Cupid

DKZ - CupidEvery once and awhile, K-pop agencies make smart decisions. On a purely aesthetic level, Dongkiz’s upgrade to “DKZ” is very welcome. The industry has far too many idol groups with three-letter acronym names, but anything is better than “Dongkiz”! But, this rebranding goes beyond the name. DKZ has a new line-up, with former member Wondae leaving the group and three new members joining. Cupid (사랑도둑) is their first comeback after Jaechan’s success in the popular Semantic Error drama, which has given DKZ a needed boost of attention.

I’m happy to see that Cupid maintains the bright energy the group debuted with. They’ve released a truly underrated string of singles, highlighted by irresistible pop tracks like BlockBuster and Fever. I’ve been less impressed with their post-2019 material, and Cupid doesn’t do much to change that feeling. I want to love this song, and the bubbly chorus urges that sentiment along. At its best, Cupid is breezy summertime fun, floating on good vibes and a rollicking, brass-kissed beat.

Unfortunately, you have to wade through some underwhelming verses to get to the good stuff. I’m not a fan of these segments. They combine so many personal peeves – plonky percussion, whistling, shouty affectations – and don’t really go anywhere. They also pull the energy down just as Cupid should be bounding forward. DKZ offer plenty of personality, but the production here feels undercooked. This is especially evident each time Cupid crests into its catchy chorus. The beat here is fun and lively and adds fullness to the track. If only I could put this part on a loop and call it a comeback.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8

10 thoughts on “Song Review: DKZ – Cupid

  1. Yeah the plunky piano keys in the verses reminds me a lot of the verses in ‘Crazy Night’. Most likely because the composer of ‘Crazy Night’, Cray Bin, took part in ‘Cupid’ haha.

    I do agree the verses are underwhelming, but overall I’m happy with ‘Cupid’. It feels like a big improvement, especially with that wonderful chorus.

    I’m still hoping for the return of AKB to compose for DKZ. I mean… they took part in composing this funky track that could have been the sequel to DKZ’s ‘Lupin’? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owcyIDXlJCk

    Liked by 1 person

    • Also would like to quickly add that AKB also took part in composing Shadow (Slip Inside) for Produce Japan!
      This what happens when you’re curious on one of your favourite composers and whether they’re still around composing works for other artists 😅

      I can’t believe it took me this many months to find that AKB collaborated with e.one for ‘Shadow (Slip Inside)’… Again! The first was for DKZ’s debut ‘Blockbuster’!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, that’s pretty good for me. I love the song’s fun and lively atmosphere, but something feels missing to this one. All in all, I’d give Cupid a 8.25/10. Nothing amazing about it, but I like this😁

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s a happy feel good song! Not anything new, but nice and bright. I’ll take this~ it’s not a lupin, but it makes me want summer 🥰 I’m content

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad they delivered a bright song, but I just wasn’t having fun like I think the writers intended. Songs of this nature should make me long for summer,but this just gets a shrug from me. The video was cute though

    Like

  5. I actually don’t love the rebrand. Like I looked at the charts and was like “does Stray Kids (SKZ) have a new song called Cupid, and lol typo.” Only to find out, no. Anyway Dongkiz may be a silly name, but I felt it suited them and was emblematic of their best material–I loved how goofy their early songs were before they became Just Another Boy Group™. Lupin is still a song I spin a lot.

    About the song, I actually like this quite a bit. I like some well-placed brass and that chorus is really cool. The instrumental is fun. But yeah I wish they didn’t shout so damn much. It’s pretty jarring against the instrumental. I just keep thinking of how a group like Snuper would’ve tackled a song like this–it would’ve fit them like a glove!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the exuberance and the rough edges. But then I came up in “shouty” music. This might be my favorite title track of theirs. It’s so cheerful, which I can use.

    Like

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