Back in January, Victon impressed with the brisk, powerful Chronograph. It still stands as one of the more memorable boy group comebacks of the year, forgoing many of 2022’s musical trends for a classic, propulsive K-pop sound. Four months later, the guys are back with (the stupidly-titled) Stupid O’Clock.
With a title like that, you’d think Stupid O’Clock would be stuffed with personality and unique character! Instead, the track gives Victon a sultry funk pop makeover. Its bass-heavy arrangement echoes many boy group tracks of the past year, down to the minimalist, atmospheric hook. I prefer this sound to the dark, shouty style we’re hearing so often, but it’s hardly compelling. In fact, Stupid O’Clock’s biggest sin is that it’s kind of… boring.
If you’re going to opt for such a subdued groove, you must make sure your hooks are rock solid. From this perspective, Stupid O’Clock never lands any sucker punches. Yes, there’s that catchy, warped vocal hook at its core, but beyond that the song just circles itself with unassuming melody lines. The beat ebbs and flows, attempting to give these meager refrains some drive. However, Stupid O’Clock is much more “whimper” than “bang.” Nothing here is objectively bad, and the track is well-written and performed. Do Hanse’s always-engaging rap sticks out in a good way, but at this point it takes a lot more to stand out in K-pop. Stupid O’Clock would make a fine addition to any groove-driven playlist. It just doesn’t stick out as its own highlight.