Review

Song Review: TO1 – Drummin’

TO1 - Drummin'In their relatively short existence as a group, TO1 has been through the ringer. First debuting as TOO in 2020, they changed companies a year later and were rebranded with their current name. Then, a handful of members left the group and three new guys joined. Whatever the line-up, let’s pour one out for the TO1 iteration that gave us Count 1, 2 and Step By Step – career highlights that are unlikely to ever be matched by future comebacks.

New single Drummin’ is a solid rebound from last year’s disappointing No More X. It’s playful and rambunctious – a combination of Block B’s freewheeling energy and more standard summer-themed boy group fare. There’s a lot of whooping and hollering, and I can’t help but feel the track would have benefitted from a more streamlined approach. But, I appreciate the bright, upbeat energy. The rollicking instrumental is supported by bursts of brass and a catchy, repeated synth flourish that feels very retro. The producers even manage to shoehorn in their post-chorus tempo shift without totally upending the structure of the track. Given its title, I’m surprised they didn’t feature a prominent drumline!

Drummin’ suffers from an underdeveloped hook that opts for easy, catchphrasey repetition over melodies you can really sink your teeth into. The energy is brisk enough to make this approach work, but in a sea of chanting boy group releases this doesn’t stick out as much as it should. Add it to your playlist for some silly K-pop fun, but look elsewhere for something that’ll knock you off your feet.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

17 thoughts on “Song Review: TO1 – Drummin’

  1. I dig this type of sound a lot. This song is such a nice throwback to 2015-16 k-pop, when there used to be a burgeoning summer-themed bubblegum pop trend. So great that the guys didn’t follow the path of that abomination named No More X!
    However, I wish there was an actual sung chorus. Seriously, I’m over this chanting, and because of it the centerpiece feels somewhat obnoxious to me. Agree with your rating.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This sounds like a less fun version of NFlying’s oeuvre, such as Hot Potato.
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZVdMc2gT2

    Like

      • I believe they will coming back after Yena. But keep in mind that they’re from the same agency as Everglow, and we hear about them like once a year

        Liked by 1 person

        • To be fair, Everglow has had two comebacks a year every year except this year which has been a big drought since Pirate for some reason…maybe because Yiren is still in China? Apparently she has hinted that they’re having a comeback soon though…but who knows

          Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so fun and upbeat! It has a bit of 60s sound, I think. I like No More X just fine, but this is so bright and happy it makes me smile, and sometimes that’s all I ask.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. While this is a good (mile better than most of its peers) song, I cannot help but feel robbed because, was this what they needed to kick out the members with a personality for? To add 3 new randoms and have the entire group be tall, handsome, detached-looking guys? This is a personal rant and I gave up on stanning them the moment Woonggi and Jerome left. Again, good song, nothing the original line-up couldn’t do better and I am just salty with management

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m totally convinced that it was factors other than personality and talent responsible for this dumb move from their agency. I hope the ousted members start their own group.

      Like

      • I would like to know why they reorganized the line up to “show a new image” and focus on a new vibe but then release a song that is just very TOO? The post where they said they were kicking out the other 3 seemed to imply that they were still under company management, which lead me and many others to hope for a Viviz scenario. While I doubt the financial viability of such a project it would be nothing short of amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I get this. Kpop companies are out for themselves and not the best interest of their artists. Why they get rid of members is usually shrouded in mystery. This happened with OnlyOneOf and I will hate 8D forever for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You know..I sometimes hate kpop for the sole reason that many kpop groups have 0 control over their career. Thanks to Road To Kingdom, I became such a fan of TOO and became excited for what they would become after seeing them improve and grow confident on stage but then comes along mismanagement and mistreatment … it hurts man.

    This song is pretty good but because of my conflicting feelings of absent members and new members, I don’t think I like this as much as I would have.

    Liked by 1 person

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