Review

Song Review: P1Harmony – Back Down

P1Harmony - Back DownWhen evaluating FNC Entertainment a few days ago, I noted P1Harmony as one of the agency’s bright spots. This is largely due to their robust promotion in the States. They seem to be targeting an international audience and this work has paid off. The heavy hip-hop influence in their music feels authentic and welcoming to those unfamiliar with K-pop, but I don’t think the guys have found their big smash hit yet. After getting close with last year’s Scared, follow-up comebacks have been pretty scattershot.

New single Back Down continues to harness the group’s energetic strengths. After the rock sounds and goofy pop chorus of Doom Du Doom, this feels like a return to form. However, the K-pop boy group landscape is flush with sounds like this, making it increasingly difficult to stand out. P1Harmony’s skilled, colorful rapping elevates Back Down’s tropes. But, the song is missing the compelling hook that would set it apart from past efforts.

After a promising pre-chorus, Back Down swerves into a predictable centerpiece. The repetitive chanting is easy to get into, but hard to fall in love with. A tired “rah ta ta!” flourish adds to the song’s over-familiar woes. These exclamations feel more like placeholders than dynamic highlights. The instrumental has plenty of swagger, but too little genuine groove. There’s just not enough for P1Harmony to play around with. It’s too rote to elicit the kind of spontaneity this style of hype track demands. The song works as connective tissue within the group’s discography, but I’m still searching for that overwhelming statement of intent that cements P1harmony as vital players within this new generation of idols.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.5

Grade: C

9 thoughts on “Song Review: P1Harmony – Back Down

  1. I am stating that it’s fine. The first verses are a bit of a letdown, but other than that, it’s good

    7.75 for me (7, 8, 8, 8)

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  2. “The instrumental has plenty of swagger, but too little genuine groove.”
    Damn you really summed it up with that line.
    I don’t know when swagger became the thing so many boy groups started aiming for, but I could really go for some groove.

    P1harmony are chock full of talent and have one of the most interesting rap lines in the 4th gen. They’re one of those groups where I’m just waiting for the day the truly get their hands on some epic material because you just know they are capable of those heights.

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  3. It’s not bad but I don’t like this. The verses sound too short and aren’t given enough time to develop. The verses don’t flow well and the transitions are very sudden. The rapping is impressive as always and that pre chorus is great but it’s killed off by the chorus. This is a downgrade from their amazing previous release.

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    • I just listened to their ep and ‘One and Only’ is really good. I’d consider it a Buried Treasure. ‘Back Down’ has also grown on me a lot. I really like it now.

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  4. I think P1Harmony has great potential. They remind me of early BTS–strong rappers, distinctive vocals, at least one phenomenal dancer. But yeah, Scared remains their best song and this year’s comebacks have been disappointing, including this one. Still, I think they do noise a little better than the other 4th gen bgs. From the album highlight medley I’m looking forward to Look at Me Now and Better Together the most.

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  5. I liked it, not quite on the great side but we are getting there. I recommend to check out Gotta get back ft. Pink Sweats. That one gets that groove that this song can’t reach.

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  6. I would bump this up a letter grade just because I like hearing a group approach a bold, hip hop sound that fits them well versus the cases we’ve seen in the last couple of years where groups feel like square pegs trying to fit into round holes when doing similar songs.

    My only complaint is the length of the song. I fully understand why groups are releasing shorter songs, but 2:48 feels extremely short for a title track.

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  7. I agree.. I think what ‘s missing is vocal design which is important but people seems to overlooked. I got into p1h cos of Jiung’s vocal/rap/dance style along with his strong energy members. Back down he sings unison hook, lacking of his killing part as vocalist and when they do live he sings only Comeon’ !! as a solo! Vice versa in Better together and One and Only are really P1harmony style with vocal designs. Jiung involved in produce and work on color of the songs. But the MV is good and look interesting.

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