Dec 5, 2016

Rookie Galore: Astro, KNK & Berry Good

Two up-and-coming groups recently made their comebacks, although the two of them have had quite different journeys so far. Berry Good debuted way back in 2014 which would mean that they're not exactly rookies anymore, but they've had so many member changes since then so they might as well still be considered rookies. Now they've come back with yeat another new member and are promoting as a six-piece with a new sound and style, one that for the first time has caught my attention. Astro and KNK on the other hand had my attention from the beginning with their respective debuts earlier this year, and I think this marks the third time they've promoted at the same time. Unlike Berry Good however, the boy groups are sticking to their respective sound and concept, which are as different from each other as they are appealing.

Five of the current Berry Good members have been a team since early 2015 and have made a couple of comebacks with songs like "My First Love", "Because Of You" and 2016-single "Angel". All of the songs have been quite on the cute, sweet and innocent side of things and while that isn't something that would stop me from liking a group none of the songs stuck with me. I didn't help that the videos were not very enjoyable to watch (because of a low budget for the most part) and thus I didn't have a chance to get into the group. With this comeback however they've opted for a change in style, with a more mature sound and concept and a song that sounds quite unlike their other title tracks. "Don't Believe" is a very modern-sounding song as it includes EDM-themes and vibes of the tropical house genre, and I would lie if I said I haven't been enjoying this song immensely since I first heard it.

The video isn't exactly high-budget this time around either but it's a lot better than their earlier MV's, however it doesn't make a ton of sense. It's composed mainly of dancing shots as well as sequences of the girls in various situations, with little to no relation to each other. What all of the scenes do have in common though is the fact that they're connected to trust and faith in one another, and in this case it's portrayed as the trust between the members. There's the balloon that's about the get cut off, the pouring of water as well as many other symbolic instances. One that stood out in particular was Sehyung's gift of a golden apple to Daye, most likely as a reference to the poisonous apple in "Snow White". It's not a perfect video but it's pretty too look at with a tropical color palette suited for the genre of the song. The choreography is also very impressive as it's certainly different from their past work, with this one being by far the most complex and hard-hitting. I don't think we need to touch on the styling as you all will know by seeing the MV, but the girls still do look insanely pretty.

Song: 4,25/5
MV: 3,2/5

"Confession" is Astro's third release this year and their second comeback after their debut with "Hide & Seek". With their past material it was clear to say that kind of sound, concept and image they were going for and it was one that both suited them well and made them stand out among other rookie boy groups this year. It seems to be more popular to go for a sexier, maturer style with EDM-inspired songs, and Astro has done quite the opposite of that. These six members are your cute, friendly and harmless boy-next-door and has a playful and upbeat musical sound to match. Both of their previous title tracks have been fun and catchy but not particularly astounding, with their debut track still being my favorite as it was a fresh and exciting at the time. The problem however is that once you've heard that particular genre of music before the next time you hear it it isn't as exciting, and that's kind of the problem here.

"Confession" is by no means a bad song, as it is fun, catchy and puts a smile on your face, but this is the third single by this group to have that kind of approach. I still like it, yes, but I would like to hear something a bit different next time. The same goes with the MV, as cute as it is, it's nothing that I think brings anything new to the table. The boys do look adorable and I love how age-appropriate it is but I can't help but to feel a bit underwhelmed. I know I sound like a hypocrite because I love GFriend and they've done essentially the same thing throughout their short career, but I just can't seem to fully engage in this comeback. As always I think that the choreography is great and they're all fantastic dancers, but there's kind of the same problem here as with the song. With their debut track I was amazed by the dance as it was something new and unique, but after two more releases with a similar type of choreo it's not as groundbreaking anymore. The quality is still high, but the wow-factor has gone down quite a bit. For their next comeback I hope they can change up their style only a tiny notch, and I would be very happy.

Song: 3,5/5
MV: 3/5

Where do I even start with KNK's comeback? The comeback that was messy before it had even happened and made both fans and non-fans alike simultaneously exclaim: "Why?". As you may or may not know depending on whether you follow this group, only a few days before the MV for comeback single "U" was scheduled to be released it was announced that it in fact would not be released. The MV release had been cancelled and the entire video had ben deleted, and the reason for that was because of the quality of it had been too low. They were basically saying that the video was too bad to release and thus decided to scrape it all, without any plans to re-shoot. I find this extremely odd as they've obviously spent money on this video and although the result may have been below expectations I doubt it was that horrible. If it was up to par with their previous MV's then I have no understanding why they couldn't release it.

Instead we're left with this performance video for the song, which is a shame but I guess it's better than nothing at all. The group has really carved out a sound for themselves and this song has many similarities with their previous single "Back", truly channeling that "2009 Beast" sound and I'm not too angry about it. Sure it sounds a little dated, but they're so talented in both dancing and singing that it's hard not to like them. I can't really judge the entire comeback of off this performance video alone but going by the song, choreography and styling it's quite a solid comeback. However, like with Astro it would be nice for them to try something different next time as well just to see if they can deliver outside of this comfort zone as well.

Song: 3,25/5

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