Song Review: Artbeat – Magic

Artbeat - MagicIs it just me, or has there been an inordinate amount of girl group debuts this year? They just keep on coming, making it harder to distinguish individual styles and concepts. In the grand scheme of things, Artbeat already have a leg up with their cool group name. Adding “art” to their moniker has to guarantee something cool and quirky, right? And when you dig further, Artbeat are not your typical girl group. They’re an offshoot of dance cover group AB Project, further blurring the lines between K-pop fandom and artistry.

Unsurprisingly, debut track Magic feels very much like a performance piece. More specifically, it feels like a performance medley. Several distinct segments are sewn together in a musical hodgepodge – an approach that has become increasingly popular among K-pop tracks. I’m partial to the grittier sound of the second verse, which might as well have been pulled from an entirely different song than the rest of the track. It’s plonked inartfully into the mix, creating some incredibly jarring transitions. A trap breakdown during the bridge feels just as out of place but far more perfunctory.

Elsewhere, Magic is “girl group 101.” It’s a reheating of many familiar sounds, largely rounded of its edges. These segments go down easy but leave little impact. Given Magic’s oddball structure, this sense of musical safety is probably for the best. However, the track’s various parts don’t compliment each other. Nothing sticks out as a highlight, making this feel like musical mush instead of a fun sense of K-pop whiplash. I wish these girls well, but they need stronger material in the future.

Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7

Grade: C-


7 thoughts on “Song Review: Artbeat – Magic

  1. This is so under the radar, it didn’t show up on my youtube feed or on my usual go to daily list on kpopmap.

    It’s a fine song, but sounds like a b-side for a bigger more established group like an OhMyGirl or someone like that.

    For Art School names, there was The Art of Noise who were quite artsy.
    I wore out their “Peter Gunn” 45rpm single on vinyl back in my mis-spent youth. (… aw damn, its only worth $3. Well then I will keep it, like I was going to anyway.)


  2. it feels like one of those k-pop songs that don’t sound like a song, but in an unintentional way. They have some good ideas and I have no issues with the girls themselves. Should be easy to improve, but with their configuration I’m a little worried


  3. I’m really happy that they debuted with a mini album- I’m kind of sick of single debuts. Minis show more of what your discography and sound is expected to be. I don’t think that their mini album is anything special, but I still think it’s cool that they debuted with one.


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