Review

Song Review: RoaD-B – Icarus

RoaD-B - IcarusRoaD-B have had an outsize presence on The Bias List relative to their lack of recognition elsewhere. I’m pretty confident that 99.9% of K-pop fans who don’t read this blog have yet to even hear their name. After all, they’ve only had one televised performance. Still, their debut single Nonstop was a huge highlight of this spring. You can sum up its success in one word: Sweetune.

I don’t think I need to reiterate how much I love Sweetune’s music. But, I will note that their melody lines are rarely obvious. They bend when you think they’ll break — soar when you expect them to resolve quietly. Yet if you immerse yourself in their work for some time, you can spot a Sweetune song from a mile away. It’s this blend of familiarity and surprise that makes their tracks so addictive and enduring.

The other important thing about Sweetune is that they’ll always give you a great chorus. This is one of the world’s great constants. In this regard, Nonstop felt like a slowly unfurling tease – all build-up and tension. New single Icarus, on the other hand, opens proudly with its megawatt hook. This refrain is by far the song’s greatest asset, acting like a big, sugary anchor. It’s a perfect blend of breezy and powerful and it’ll sweep you off your feet each time it comes around.

I’m not as thrilled about Icarus’s slowed-down verses. This is a personal peeve of mine. I don’t often enjoy dramatic energy shifts between verse and chorus, and though Sweetune navigate this approach as well as you’d expect, these segments feel more like connective tissue than highlights on their own. Luckily, a chanted pre-chorus adds a punch of energy just when the song needs it. Yes, Sweetune can even make dopey sing-talk sound fresh and compelling!

Despite the fact that this review reads as Sweetune worship, I’m actually docking the track for its production. Weird, huh? It’s a subjective thing, and I anticipate Icarus growing on me the longer I hear it. But, I think it could have been a song-of-the-year candidate had the energy of its chorus dominated the entire track. I guess it’ll have to settle for “the best comeback of September ’22 (so far).”

One thing’s for sure: I’ll be proudly waving the RoaD-B flag as long as they keep giving us Sweetune-produced bangers like this. What can I say? The blog’s called The Bias List for a reason!

Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9

16 thoughts on “Song Review: RoaD-B – Icarus

  1. This is good but….the verses are a little empty? The Chorus is KILLER but they’re missing something in the verses and it’s off putting. I listened to this 5 times while writing this and I can’t help but feel more disappointed each time at the lack of energy during the verses. It could have easily been a 10/10 for me but the result is a 8/10.

    What a waste

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  2. I love this song. In contrast, the verses seemed to be underwhelming for me, and I feel that the centerpiece lacks just a little bit more meat on its bones. Just a little. Not much. Anyway, I definitely expect it to grow on me. At the moment, my rating is:

    Hooks: 7
    Production: 8
    Longevity: 9
    Bias: 10
    Total: 8.5

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  3. It’s been a while since I saw the kpop mv rooftop, I opened the video and thought “this is classic kpop” without understanding why. It’s both the sound and the set.

    Good song!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is nice! It reminds me of Tempest’s Can’t Stop Shining with some ONF brightness sprinkled throughout. Also, I’m glad to see that they upgraded from the Amazon warehouse in their last MV to that heliport everyone uses.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Like it a lot! Not quite as incredible as Nonstop but that’s more so because I prefer that kind of sound over this one. I don’t even mind the verses being slow because though they are slow, they are still catchy – I think a successful top line means one that is melodically rich yet catchy. After barely two or three listens I know the whole melody of the song by heart. 9 for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My issue with the song is how quiet the vocals sound. I really enjoy what’s there but I shouldn’t have to try so hard to hear the melody it’s really annoying

    Like

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