Song Review: H1-KEY – Run

H1-KEY - RunH1-KEY debuted earlier this year with Athletic Girl, a song that flew under my radar at first but acquitted itself well during music show promotions. Still, it wasn’t memorable enough to offer any big expectations for the group’s comeback. Any expectations would have proven moot regardless, as new single Run drastically shifts their sound in a pleasant pop/rock direction.

This style of rock-infused pop is making a big comeback in global music, and it’s taking me right back to 2002-03. I wasn’t a huge fan of the genre the first time around, but its straightforward nature feels almost quaint by today’s standards. Run is a sturdy example of the sound. It doesn’t do anything particularly memorable, but its youthful energy and chant-along hooks go down easy. It’s more than a little “Radio Disney” in execution, which could be seen as a compliment or drawback depending on where you stand.

For me, Run isn’t something I’d seek out often. However, the song makes all the right turns and its fun, boisterous chorus quickly gets under your skin. It has the punky energy this style requires, while maintaining a squeaky-clean and pop-oriented sheen that takes advantage of the group’s natural charm. It’s the kind of simple radio track that thrives on repeated plays. File this under: modest ambition, high return on investment. It’ll be interesting to see if H1-KEY continue to pursue this sound for future comebacks. I think it’s a great fit that carves out a nice place for them in K-pop’s current girl group landscape.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

7 thoughts on “Song Review: H1-KEY – Run

  1. For me, this song is a huge step forward for the girls. It has got that refreshing summery vibe, and especially the punchy pop rock sound dating back to early-00’s, which I’m absolutely in love with. However, I wish the hooks were stronger and more memorable. Tbh, it would be so great if there were more boy group comebacks and debuts like this in 2022, rather than the agencies reminiscing noise over and over…
    Probably mid-8’s for me.


  2. For whatever the H1Key budget is, this is actually pretty good, a solid summery pop song. For my taste it skews a bit young, like Disney singalong afternoon movie. But still somewhere in the low 8’s for me.

    Also, 1.05x speed is perfect.


  3. This was sooo good!! Way better than I ever expected and I love the pleasant surprise!! I really loved Athletic Girl actually and was already super impressed by their charisma and vocals. I was initially a bit sceptical about them doing a summer song.

    A) Personally very few summer songs ever really have longevity for me
    B) I wasn’t sure if they would fit the vibe

    But they proved me wrong big time and I loved seeing the same charisma and great vocals this time too! They actually sang a LOT compared to many songs today lol and it was so pleasant and fun that I vibed automatically with it! Their stages are definitely worth checking out too! ❤

    And finally bside Heart Light is soooo goood! ❤ I actually listened to this even before the title because I fell in love with it right from the highlight medley.😂 It would be nice if they perform this somewhere because it’s a really nice song!


  4. Every track in this mini album is a TOTAL BOP.
    I get that their concept is Sporty thus all the songs are upbeat and probably ‘designed’ to fit health activities.
    My favorite is ‘Catch n’ Release’ with its LOONA-ish approach.


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