When it comes to their music, Woollim Entertainment has been on a roll this year. Many of my favorite 2022 tracks have come from their artists. But, the agency tosses comebacks around haphazardly without much teasing or hype-building. If I had to choose, I’ll always favor song quality over robust promotions. But, it’s a bit frustrating when this excellent music isn’t getting the chance to reach its maximum audience.
Rocket Punch’s 2022 started strong with the 80’s-tinged Chiquita. New single Flash enlists the help of Woollim-favorites Newtype, who also produced DRIPPIN’s excellent Zero and Kwon Eunbi’s Glitch. It’s a little more “girl group 101” than Chiquita was, but a fine example of the genre. Over a driving electronic beat, Rocket Punch deliver a conveyer belt of quick, clipped hooks. The chorus and post-chorus work well in tandem, pulling back for a performance that’s almost spoken-word. It’s a clever twist on K-pop’s anti-drop trend, giving similar effect with a more robust instrumental.
Flash’s verses have a bit more flexibility, offering the song’s biggest shots of melody. I love the sci-fi synth that runs through much of these segments. Newtype are at their best when they experiment with their sound palette, and Flash could stand to be weirder than it is. Its tricks threaten to wear thin before the song has finished. Thankfully, we build toward a galvanizing climax that sends Flash out on a high. As reinventions go, this one works well for Rocket Punch.