HYBE has a reputation for filming follow-up music videos for its acts. They rarely pick the songs I would, but that’s pretty much true for every K-pop agency. When it comes to ENHYPEN’s newest album, I’ve already put my weight behind the anthemic rock of Shout Out. But if I were to pick another song, ParadoXXX Invasion would be it. Truthfully, the entire mini has grown on me, making my initial review of Future Perfect (Pass The Mic) at odds with my current thoughts.
ParadoXXX Invasion has a nice swagger, especially during its chorus. I’m not a fan of the muffled instrumental elements that kick off the track and pepper throughout most of its running time. The producers seem to be aiming for “lo-fi,” but it sounds more like an mp3 encoded at 96kbps. It’s a weird aesthetic choice, for sure. But, the rest of the song is solid. The beat bounds with confidence and the melodies have a blustery quality that reminds me of early-00’s hip-hop inspired pop.
As we’ve come to expect from HYBE, ParadoXXX Invasion is very effects-heavy. In fact, the guys’ performance is more warped than anywhere else on the album. I’ll spare you my repetitive criticism of this approach and simply say the song would have been stronger without it. But, I guess if you’re going to throw in vocal effects, you might as well go full bore. In a strange way, the studio trickery compliments the rambunctious nature of the track. ParadoXXX Invasion is meant to bolster energy over all else, and despite a few stumbling blocks, it delivers.