Review

Song Review: Kingdom – Long Live The King

Kingdom - Long Live The KingFor the past several Kingdom comebacks, I’ve found myself more enamored with the group’s b-sides than their title tracks. Their high-concept series seems to put emphasis on performance pieces rather than songs that stand well on their own. This remains true for new single Long Live The King (백야), but there are enough musical goodies thrown into its arrangement to make this an easy standout in their discography.

Sometimes, songs can be too fussy for their own good. Rather than lean into their obvious strengths, they shift and drop and try to do too much at once. Long Live The King is guilty of this and would greatly improve with some generous tightening. But, ambition is part of Kingdom’s schtick. I can’t fault them for trying to do as much as they can in four minutes’ time. I just wish the song would linger on some of its strongest moments. The funky beat that emerges during verse one is so good. We could’ve had an entire song built around it. But, it disappears in seconds – replaced by lumbering percussion that feels far more generic.

Luckily, Long Live The King is anchored by a memorable chorus. The arrangement varies here as well, and the track is at its best when it goes full bore. I love the pummeling percussion that underlines much of this centerpiece. It feels as if the group is throwing everything they have at us. The energy is galvanizing. But, this drama makes King’s missteps even more obvious. Like so many other K-pop tracks, its second verse is inert and jarring. Thank goodness it’s brief. And, the song hits where it counts, delivering a thrilling climax that sends us out on a high.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.5

17 thoughts on “Song Review: Kingdom – Long Live The King

  1. I love this song. It has got that drama which makes the track sound genuinely thrilling. However, I’m still undecided on the rating, so I guess I gotta listen to it a few times more.

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  2. House of mirrors. There are a lot of shiny surfaces to this one. That can be a lot of fun, lots of cool groovy things to see and hear. Super added effects.

    They sure pile it on and around the song. Disco swirl. Half time and double time, check. Second verse rap triplets. Doubled and tripled vocal lines.
    Evocative solo trumpet. Wilting strings. Electric guitars. Extra beats piled upon extra beats. And One more time with feeling!

    But do house of mirrors have a lasting effect? For me, its always the other rides that have more emotive and visceral memories. I feel like I admire this song and the video more than I will listen to it. I admire how somehow this assemblage of everything and the kitchen sink works well enough. But for me, the song lacks organization and construction.

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    • You gotta admire how they commit to using the instrument that each member is supposed to represent the nation of in all their title tracks. Heard violin throughout entire song for this one

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    • Oh, yes! Every concept is a different king or ruler each time!
      My favorite title tracks are Karma and Excalibur. They have excellent b-sides as well. Here’s some of my favorites:
      Fallen Star
      The Song Dann (Promise)
      the brand new song, Poison
      Blinder
      Illusion
      Warning
      We Are
      Burn
      Their intros and instrumentals are full of pomp and pageantry and are great, too.

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    • You gotta admire that they commit to using the instruments of each member’s nation that they are supposed to represent. I heard violin all throughout this song

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  3. My longtime quibble with Kingdom is that their title tracks all have a similar sound (which I understand is tied to their concept), so I was encouraged that this song has different producers and a different-sounding beginning. It kind of ends up giving me the same impression as the others, but the MV and performance stage are fantastic, as usual. Period is probably my favorite song off the album.

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  4. I want to like these guys cos I love the high camp of their aesthetic, but their music always is missing something that I can’t describe. There’s too much going on here, I need them to keep the vibe of 1:00-2:00 more then I would have truly liked it.

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  5. Honestly I’m in too deep with this group to even pretend for a second that I can be impartial about anything they do, but I am going to throw in my two cents anyway.
    As someone who very much enjoys Kingdom’s overall sound I think this fits in well with their existing discography in spite of the producer switch up. I always appreciate how they mange to tweak their sound enough for it to feel new and manage to suit the particular era/cultural influence associated with each release. I also think this song has one of the best choruses from one of their title tracks and I really love the dance break as well. I could do without the rapping entirely but its over quickly and does not hinder my overall enjoyment of the song.
    As always their choreography, styling (they are actually wearing tights and high heeled buckle shoes, serious points for that) and the MV are stunning. I’ll never get over how good of a promotional tactic the cookie video’s at the end of their MV’s are. This era has barely begun but as a fan your already excited for the next one, its just brilliant. Any day is a good day to be a Kingdom fan but today is a particularly good day indeed 🙂

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  6. Since this is “the biaslist” I hope I don’t have to be too careful with this comment lol…. because I accept I’m heavily biased when it comes to this group 💀 It does make me a bit happy to see this being rated higher than the other songs of theirs so far lol.

    Every single song of theirs has been a hit for me so far! I’m so in love with their elaborate concept, songs and the group as a whole that they were the act I was so excited for this month even though they are definitely the youngest! 😀

    This song too blew my mind! Vocals to visuals to instrumental to rap to that epic climax (Oh god I was already hooked with that teaser and humming it like crazy even before the release) – Kingdom has just entered a 5 title song streak for me… which is basically all their titles! 😃

    One of the biggest things I was worried about this time was that Chiwoo had left and a new member had been surprisingly added – which could have an effect on the group dynamics. But can I just say that new addition Hwon fits in perfectly even with such a different concept like this and I really loved him here!

    And as always the best thing about Kingdom isn’t just that I’m excited with the cb, but I’m also excited for the next! 😀 I can see why they may not be for everyone but honestly… atleast for me, I can’t see anybody else doing it like them in this generation of kpop. They have this really niche theme and sound and I derive a special kinda joy from their songs each time!

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  7. I like this but I don’t like 0:52-1:07. It just seems so out of place. It doesn’t fit with the song at all. Other than that section, this song is so great. The climaxes are so satisfying and I really like the way the song keeps building on itself throughout the song.

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  8. I have to agree on that bit 0:52-1:07, it is a bit strange and doesnt really fit in with the rest. But regardless I love this comeback, that chorus is just delicious, their MV as usually sumptious and epic. I alway feel like their title tracks have more impact watched and listened together with MV (although I had a time I was obsessed with Excaclibur – that chanting at the beginning and end always gets me. That one was on my spotify for weeks) and the Bsides are perfect on my playlist. This album like all their other albums – no skip – I love all the songs on it.
    People dont talk enough about their vocals, Ivan and Dan are just top tier vocalists (flashy, yes but I do like a bit of a killer high note) and I must say in this album I was also really surprised about the excellent rapping ( on title track and one of the BSides, think its Period). It never stood out to me but Mujin – wow this time he really showed off.
    Kingdom for me stands out from the rest of the boygroup pool, they are so refreshingly different and I love their concept so much. I was super excited for the comeback and when I watched and listened the first time yesterday I forgot how to breath… hyperventilating over a song and MV – that hardly ever happens to me these days. In short – i love them!

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  9. Kingdom have grown on me. They go all out and have a distinct sound, at least in title tracks. But Kpop choreography in satin breeches and hose and those ridiculous 17th c. shoes–I don’t know how I feel about that.

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