Song Review: LIGHTSUM – Alive

LIGHTSUM - AliveWith (G)I-DLE riding high on the charts, Cube Entertainment has devoted much of their attention to them. But, the agency has another group waiting in the wings. LIGHTSUM debuted last year with the fun Vanilla before shifting toward slightly more generic sounds with follow-up Vivace last October. Since then, we haven’t heard much from the girls. New single Alive arrives just as they should be zeroing in on their own sound.

Alive follows a proven girl group formula: big percussion and even bigger, brasher vocals. In general, this style isn’t for me. But, Alive delivers the template pretty well. LIGHTSUM make a charming conduit for the song’s bright energy. They belt out each note, making sure their performance is front and center even as the busy production pinballs here and there. From its singalong chorus to the more beat-driven asides, the girls keep things moving.

Alive’s instrumental is largely cut-and-paste from other tracks, but I like the brisk percussion during the verses. Had this element been spotlighted more fully, we could have a great groove on our hands. Unfortunately, the track is more concerned with noisy synths and thundering changes in the arrangement. The pre-chorus is far too cloying for me, though it builds nicely into the song’s effusive hook. More worryingly, we’re three songs into LIGHTSUM’s career and I’m still not sure what makes sets them apart from any other recently-debuted act. I’d love to see Cube connect them with a dedicated producer who could bring out their own musical color.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7


20 thoughts on “Song Review: LIGHTSUM – Alive

  1. Over the months I’ve became increasingly worried that Cube has no real direction for Lightsum. The group has a lot of potential but with that lack of direction I’m worried they’ll never really break thru in the crowded girl group landscape. Even at this point, i feel like some groups that were initially on their level or lower are beginning to surpass them. Purple Kiss and Billlie mainly.

    Liked by 7 people

    • I agree! Between the two other groups you’ve listed, I do enjoy Lightsum the most but I do think they’ve been stifled and mismanaged.

      I feel like they were rush debuted to bring some distraction during Soojin scandal and now are going to be sidelined now that G-idle is back on top of the charts.

      how tabloid-y of me, but I do think these are real factors at play here!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. This one is just…erm…fine. Yes, I find this kind of concept to be pretty good, and I enjoy many songs similar to this.
    In contrast, I can’t stand the instrumental, and I share Nick’s opinion on it. Unfortunately, it follows that terrible trend of clanging beats-shout-and-posture boy group pieces of shit (sorry, but I can hardly call them songs), and because of it my ears were suffering from pain while listening to the track.
    Rating is about right, though I’d decrease hooks’ rating to 7 and bump up the bias score to 8.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. In all fairness, this song isn’t terrible, but it’s not going into any of my playlists. One of the saving graces of 2021 was the strong influx of GG debuts that not only made the year more enjoyable, but offered me hope for 2022.

    Whelp.. much for 2022. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Firmly in the current Girl Crush gestalt and fairly well done.
    On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it an “It’s OK!”. …. though also not going on my playlist.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I kind of wish Lightsum was cut in half and was just Chowon, Nayoung, Sangah, and Juhyeon. No hate to the other 4, but right now Chowon and Nayoung’s vocals, Sangah’s rap, and Juhyeon’s dance feel a little buried.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So crazy coming here from the future and knowing that 2 of the members from lightsum got kicked out. I guess cube also thought the same regarding the lineup.


  6. a pretty slavish copy of the dalla dalla blueprint in my opinion – the song structure, the production, and the vocal delivery all are at least heavily inspired. not bad, but not super distinctive. i think i’m in the minority in preferring vanilla to anything else they’ve done, if only for how great juhyeon’s voice sounds in the prechorus (and the interesting twist on the cute sugary concept)


    • same songwriting/production team as Dalla Dalla here, Galactika.

      Vanilla was very addictive for me!
      Juhyeon’s voice is actually one of my favorite parts of “Alive”, especially the “ayy listen girls” part.


  7. I enjoyed this one more than their previous releases. The chorus is really good and the bass line is right in my wheelhouse.


  8. i think what this song lacked is that extra punch to the face! i hope they stick to this sound i really like it tho not adding it to my pl
    and i didnt check the whole mini but “i” is really solid

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Better than vivace but not as good as vanilla. I usually don’t mind sing talking, but I think it’s easy to see how this song could’ve been improved without it. The sawing synth is both interesting and distracting. So I love it during the breakdown but it’s annoying during the chorus. I’m glad that their output has been bright songs, but I agree with everyone who would like to see some consistency in how they deliver their brand of bright

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it ironic that, style-wise, their first song wasn’t a vanilla offering, but everything they’ve released since is?


  10. This was disappointing. After “Vanilla” got me hooked, “VIVACE” made me curious about their direction. If this if it, we’re deteriorating. Honestly, if you told me this group was from CUBE, I would straight-up not believe you. This sounds like [insert nugu-group from “starter-set” company] and nothing like a group from the same company as Pentagon and I-DLE. Me hopes this takes off for them, but I can’t see this group going any higher than CLC game at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

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