Review

Song Review: CSR – ♡TiCON

CSRCSR’s summer debut stands as one of my favorites from 2022, opting for a bright, poppy sound that hearkened back to past K-pop eras. Not only that, but the girls enlisted my beloved Sweetune for a b-side! Since that debut, CSR have been sharing various dance covers of early-GFriend songs – a style I desperately hope they explore in the future. But, new single ♡TiCON (러브티콘) opts for a sugar rush energy instead of powerful, melodic grace.

For this go-around, CSR have worked with an incredible team of producers. We’ve got Hwang Hyun – once part of Sweetune and now the guiding light behind ONF’s incredible singles run. He’s paired with fellow Monotree teammate Yoon Jongseong and e.one’s Hohyun. ♡TiCON should be a slam dunk, and the fact I have reservations at all is giving me pause.

At its heart, this is a good song. It features nice melodies, an exciting chorus and plenty of fizzy 80’s synths to keep the energy aloft. It’s bright and punchy and intently focused on having a good time. ♡TiCON ticks a lot of boxes, yet I’m not as impressed as I was after first hearing Pop? Pop!. There’s a bit too much aegyo for my taste, including a veritable army of cheerleader chants and cutesy posturing. CSR is still a very young group, so this approach makes sense. It fits them well, but it’s also kind of constraining. Maybe this is just another case of ‘expectations vs. reality.” I’m desperately waiting for another Rough or Me Gustas Tu or Navillera. That’s a ridiculously high standard to hold them to, and probably too much to ask at this stage in their career. But when I see potential, it’s hard not to extrapolate where that could lead!

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

Grade: B

14 thoughts on “Song Review: CSR – ♡TiCON

  1. This song is just too plain. Problems are the same as woo!ah!’s Rollercoaster: the verses, the bridge, the chorus were all well-built, just nothing stands out. Honestly this wasn’t something to expect from Hwang Hyun, considering his creativity in production.
    I’m a big fan of CSR, where I consider their debut album one of the best of this generation. Honestly I think this song is weak as compared to Pop? Pop!. But I think this is fine, let’s see if we get something more interesting next time 🙂

    (p.s. this song is exactly what early WEEEKLY would sound, somewhere between Zig Zag and After School)

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  2. Kpop isn’t quite ready to completely shuck off the total aegyo fest.

    I wish them the best of luck. I just had a peak at the chart fka Gaon this morning, and this sound is nowhere on it. (Younha, however, is crushing it this year.)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. i really enjoyed this song!! it’s a fizzy sweet popsicle of ✩ FIRST ♩ LOVE~♡♩, and I’ve missed that energy from early twice/ fromis’ love bomb period.

    the only qualm I have is that I wish the song was catchier, with indelible Hooks that never leave your brain. This was something that twice, gfriend and the best earworm songs excel at, and I hope their next comeback improves on it!

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  4. Their b-side, anding (&), SCREAMS gfriend or oh my girl to me. This group is so good and I talk about them so much with others that I forget that they are really nugu.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Based on the more modern styling & use of more 80s synths, I think they’re trying to see if the “bright” sound can be pushed in a more modern direction and still stand out. In contrast, “Pop? Pop!” isn’t traceable to a particular era. Personally, I feel like this sound can be better handled by early Dreamnote/Weeekly, but I’d still listen to CSR even if they aren’t shot outside in identical uniforms.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All in all an excellent song (b-side is good too).

    FirstLove<3 brings us the vitamin boost needed in this dreadfully bland k-pop landscape. After Nick introduced me to the group, I've converted to a full blown MAEUM!

    Hook is a tad on the weak, probably sits at 7, with the rest being 8, 9 and 9

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  7. First thought: Wow, they have high voices
    Second thought: This is incredible
    Third thought: Who are they?
    Realization: They were the group that released ‘Pop? Pop!’

    I’m definitely going to keep an eye on this group.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ok… Wtf. Why can I hear OneRepublic singing this? But like a less cute and slower tempo version. For some reason I was low-key bopping my head from first verse. Not sure how I feel about this

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