Thus far, INI have buried much of their best material on b-sides and random one-off releases. Last year’s Hero sticks out as a missed opportunity to showcase the group’s vocal skills (and rock star swagger) to a wider audience. Now we have New Day – another special digital single with a glossy performance video. It’s not quite the transcendent experience it could have been, but this high-octane dance sound is leagues above the chanted affectations that characterize most of their A-sides.
When New Day takes flight, it’s a real showstopper. I usually like to start at the beginning of a track, but I want to point out how hard the song’s bridge hits right away. I wish this energy could spread over the entire three minutes. Instead, New Day opts for the kind of fitful, bass-driven funk groove loved by so many K-pop (and K-pop adjacent) tracks these days. It’s a strong example of the style – not Born To Be Wild levels of spectacular but perfectly solid when it keeps its eye on the prize and doesn’t shift gear too often.
As usual, I long for more melodic meat on the bones of New Day‘s chorus. The first portion is energetic and fun, but it’s immediately followed by unnecessary chanting. This combo works well… it just could have been better. Even so, this is one of the strongest tracks in INI’s discography so far. By harnessing an energetic drive and a sense of dynamic showmanship during that standout bridge, the guys are beginning to unlock the potential I first noticed during their formation on Produce 101.
Did all the K-pop agencies and all the artists uniformly decide not to release anything for a few months? It’s getting really weird, the dearth of decent K-pop releases. It went from oversaturation to a desert pretty quickly.
Looking ahead, it looks like we’ll have a sudden burst of songs to get excited about from the 13th to the 15th (e.g. Key, STAYC, tripleS), and then back to the desert for awhile.
It’s super weird. We’ve had dry stretches before and winter isn’t exactly a busy time for comebacks, but this is the longest one I can remember since the blog launched today in 2016.
Hmmm, I’m not super familiar with INI’s vocals, but all the voices sound super thin here. I don’t know if it’s the mixing, or that the melody is just way too high. Fun instrumental and bridge though.
Hero was such a missed opportunity, just listened to it and it’s the best INI song I’ve heard, thanks for recommending it!
Will you review Sakurazaka46’s
new song Cool? I think it’s the best they’ve done since Dead End
Sorry for the late response! Cool probably won’t be getting a full review, but I do like it. I think I prefer Sakuratsuki, though.