Rookie group CLASS:y aren’t wasting any time. They’ve divided their debut mini album in two parts, releasing both within weeks of each other. Shut Down was unveiled only a month ago and it’s already time for their first comeback. I know the K-pop industry moves fast, but this feels like a new record!
Shut Down came and went on my playlist, its noisy chorus undercutting the potential of its verses. For follow-up Classy (they’re really drilling their group name into our heads, aren’t they?), they’ve leaned further into the chant-heavy parts of that previous song. You’re all probably sick of hearing me describe K-pop tracks as “post-ITZY,” but it’s astonishing how much influence that sound still has over the girl group landscape. Songs like Classy are well-produced from a technical standpoint, but I find it difficult to gain an entry point into their charms. To me, they just sound like commercials for Bratz Dollz. That’s fine in small doses, but it’s also a pretty limiting idea of what female-fronted pop music can be.
On the plus side, Classy is undeniably catchy. I may not care for the chorus, but it’s already stuck in my head. From a pure marketing perspective, that’s a win. My favorite part of the track happens immediately after that hook, when the instrumental gets a moment to shine during a brief breakdown. The percussion here is quite addictive, and I wish we got to hear more of that drum pattern. Instead, Classy swerves through an assembly line of modern girl group tropes. It pulls them off to a decent degree, buoyed by the group’s youth. But, there’s only so much more you can wring from this style.