Review

Song Review: TRI.BE – Kiss

TRIBE - Kiss

It’s been a longer-than-usual hiatus for TRI.BE, with Kiss arriving as their newest single since last October’s Would You Run. But, the lengthy break hasn’t changed their sound too much, nor has it affected their collaborators. Kiss sees them working again with the legendary Shinsadong Tiger, alongside EXID’s L.E. and production team The Hub.

That’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen, and it shows in Kiss’s piecemeal sound. Its brash, ‘attitude-first, melody-later’ approach is familiar from the first moment, slotting nicely within today’s girl group oeuvre. As usual, I expect it will win over many fans of this sound. But for me, the charms of this style have been worn down through sheer repetition. I’m not sure what makes Kiss any different from its hundreds of peers, apart from the exaggerated kissing sound effects and stretched out repetition of the title.

This isn’t to say Kiss is an awful song. It’s just not for me. There are a few moments where the instrumental gains steam and threatens to transform into something more engaging. The pre-choruses introduce synths that remind me of steel drums, crafting a nice groove that hearkens back to TRI.BE’s debut. But too much of Kiss is beholden to the kind of nursery-rhyme-esque sing talk that can be very hit and miss. In fact, the song literally devolves into a nursery rhyme during its final moments! By this time, Kiss has lost its grip on me, even as a series of strong power notes round out the track and spotlight TRI.BE’s obvious talent.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

7 thoughts on “Song Review: TRI.BE – Kiss

  1. I was interrupted twice during this song, finally on the third time got to listen all the way through and good god what the hell was that nursery rhyme at the end?!

    Yeah, not for me. I am not this target demographic at all. Not even darling daughter’s target demographic (geeky freshman marching band girl) who is digging Purple Kiss, Pixy, Dreamcatcher etc vibes.

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  2. I could barely finish listening to this song to the end. Disgusting anti-drop chorus? Check. Dated Latin vibe? Check. Nursery rhyme-ish sing-talk in the climax? Check. For me, it’s genuinely awful. My rating would be:

    Hooks: 5
    Production: 7
    Longevity: 7
    Bias: 6
    Total: 6.25

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  3. K-Pop in general is beginning to look up but Shinsadong Tiger, once one of my absolute favorite composers, is still stuck on dated and bad trends. That L.E. is also involved in this brings me to tears. Whyyyy.

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  4. I liked this ok because mostly I’m just happy sometimes when groups stick to their comfortable sounds and there’s nothing too experimental 🙂 This was always Tri. be. Right from the start. You can kinda even recognise their songs even if they are played out of nowhere lol.

    It didn’t catch me as much as Would You Run on first listen, but the girls perform really well on stage and they make their songs fun, so I’m looking forward to that! The pre-chorus was pretty nice, the drop was actually ok for me this time and the final run was neat too!

    I’m honestly just happy they even had a cb because a lot of girl groups and their members have been receiving the short end of the stick this year with disbandments etc left and right – so their mere presence warms my heart 😂

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  5. you know, Nick, often when reading your reviews, i often think you are being extremely hard on a lot of groups, looking for each comeback to only fit what you would like to see, when most of these K-pop artists have a lot of fans that love the music they make, and with the K-pop market being grossly oversaturated to the point of musical gluttony, and also debuting a ridiculous amount of new groups each year – with the majority of them coming and going as quick as they came, it is hard to always get a variety of new stuff….even with the best producers on their A-game, the K-pop industry is just brutal and again, extremely oversaturated….

    then, there are a few times that i tend to agree with you, and this is on e of those times….i don’t have a problem with Tri.be’s comeback….it is all good with me….i like their spunk, attitude, and energy, but where i agree with you is on this type of comeback….i am not singling out Tri.be at all, because there are certainly a lot of groups choosing this type of production as their go-to now….i am also just getting tired of the ‘chant-hi’, shouting, scooting along, and reaching to bite without much force to do so….what ever happened to raw and great vocals (ala Spica, Mamamoo, Big Mama, Sistar, EXO, WJSN, Dreamcatcher, BigBang, Goldenchild, etc.)?, or if the vocals aren’t that strong, the ability to still capitalize on the overall group talent to still make hits (ala AOA, Girls’ Generation, Rocket Punch, 9Muses, After School, etc.)?….

    t gumbo

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