Find a seat and take a deep breath for this one. “Acid Angel from Asia” is a pre-debut sub-unit from the upcoming 24-member girl group tripleS that combines the worlds of NFT and K-pop. These four members were voted to be part of the unit via something called “Grand Gravity,” and tripleS will soon spawn another unit named “+(KR)ystal Eyes.” This all sounds like some convoluted anime set-up, but it’s the brainchild of the always-evocative Jaden Jeong — well-known for his creative direction with LOONA and OnlyOneOf. As usual, the most important aspect of this new venture is the music itself (at least where I’m concerned!) and I’m happy to report that Generation is quite good.
Generation is the latest in a new trend of chic girl group sounds. In my mind, NewJeans and LE SSERAFIM have become the poster children for this wave, and I’m happy to see it spread further into the idol industry. A song like this eschews many expected K-pop tropes for something sleeker and effortlessly cool. I hear this in the instrumental, which is understated but never boring. More importantly, I hear it in the performance style. The girls sing in a comfortable register, gliding on the melody rather than peaking in constant exclamatory bursts. It’s a matter of personal preference, but I’m much more inclined to play a track of this style than many of the post-ITZY chant-fests we’ve heard over the past few years.
Because of this approach, Generation‘s hooks are relatively subdued. A catchy “la la la” opens the track and carries through, but never draws much attention to itself. Again, it’s effortlessly cool. The verses are solid if nondescript, yet manage to compel attention through their stylish force. And by tying that “la la” hook to a more robust melody, the chorus delivers a worthy centerpiece without going over the top. It all adds up to a song that should enjoy great longevity. It’s definitely not as “out there” as Acid Angels from Asia’s name or concept might suggest, but I’m here for this new K-pop cool and I could see this becoming a huge grower.