Review

Song Review: Trendz – Vagabond

Trendz - VagabondRookie boy group Trendz are the latest to return with material originally scheduled for October. Thus far, the guys haven’t done much to land on my radar, though June’s Who improved with time. I appreciate when they lean heavily into rock guitar, and new single Vagabond leverages this strength. But, the song is not without its concessions. Like the majority of boy groups these days, NCT’s shadow looms large over the music.

Like ICHILLIN’s comeback (also released today), the first few moments of Vagabond are rough. If I never have to hear K-pop boys shouting over a blustery beat again, I’ll be content with life. Of course, that’s never going to happen given the industry’s narrow definition of a “badass” concept. But if we remove that chanted hook from the track, we’re left with a competent idol rocker. Vagabond’s verses are pleasantly melodic, and when they veer into rap toward the middle of the song it’s well-suited to the blazing beat.

Better yet, Vagabond bolsters its chant with a genuine chorus. This segment doesn’t come around often enough, but it gives a thrilling peek at Trendz’s full potential. The vocals are strong, offering a convincing take on the tried-and-true “powerful” concept. I love the arrangement here. The voices are stacked to the high heavens in a classic K-pop style. This becomes even more appealing at Vagabond’s climax, where the guys deliver a killer power note. There’s some melodic murk and plenty of needless posturing to wade through, but overall this comeback is a promising step in the right direction.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

Grade: B

10 thoughts on “Song Review: Trendz – Vagabond

  1. I agree. If one clips out the “Hot Sauce skippy dip day- kick it kick it kick it like a Bruce Lee”-like shouty lines, the song would a better banger. But those lines are a third of the song, so its a pass for me.

    (I mean, I actually like Hot Sauce and Kick it Bruce Lee song, but those were produced far better.)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This one is a step up from June’s atrocious Who and sounds pretty promising, thanks to its rock influences, but…..again, that chanted post-chorus…Again, it makes up quite a big part of the song…😖
    As a result, I’m disappointed. Those agencies have gone too far with their NCT obsession. Don’t they know how we’re exhausted to hear their influence? I bet they don’t and don’t even wanna know..

    Here’s how I’d rate it:

    Hooks: 6
    Production: 9
    Longevity: 7
    Bias: 7
    Total: 7.25/10

    Worse yet, I feel like I’m gonna quit listening to K-pop for some time as whatever the release is, I’m bored, disappointed or angry with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Big nope from me. I was hoping it would be like P.O.A’s song – starting off wobbly and ending up amazing. That did not happen. I needed to listen to some righteously shouty MCND and NCT Dream to sooth my soul.

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  4. Every time the NCT-like shouted lines ended the I started to like the song a lot, but those lines take up too much space to be tolerable in my playlist, it’s a shame.

    Like

  5. I was rolling my eyes a little at the beginning, but I actually… kind of love this? I listened to it in the car at just-below-ear-bleeding level and it was great. I actually LIKED chanted bits before they got run into the ground, and this really worked for me once they added in the call and response and layered the vocal ad-libs on top – seriously, whoever was doing the ad libs on the last round of chanting reminded me of Ateez’ Jongho, I was really impressed. Speaking of Ateez (who I’ve been listening to A LOT recently) pull out the chanting and this reminded me a little of Rocky Japanese Version. Hovering between 4-5 but 5 because of how good it sounded in the car and how bored I’ve been with most BGs this year.

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      • I mean, I like Vamos and Flex too, so it’s possible you’re going crazy. But just from a musical standpoint I like it better than Guerrilla, too. Actually, what it reminds me a lot of is Get Away from Just B’s debut EP. I don’t like it quite as much as Get Away but it’s got similar energy. I like how the vocal parts don’t have as many vocal effects on them as I’ve gotten used to from BG songs and the layering makes it feel big and anthemic. Both Vagabond and Guerrilla have chanting but Vagabond’s is more interesting after the opening. Guerrilla ends strong, but up to there is just a little lower key than I’d want from my rock-influence k-pop.

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