Also kicking off the month of May is ASTRO, who makes their comeback with the title track, Knock, and the mini-album GATEWAY. This is ASTRO’s first comeback since the release of Blue Flame late last year and it is also the first official comeback which marks the return of Moonbin, who sat out of promotions for Blue Moon for health reasons. ASTRO, with Moonbin, did release a special single, One & Only, in March for their fourth anniversary. I am also very glad that ASTRO is coming back today as opposed to a week from now due to the intense competition due next week. It gives ASTRO an opportunity to shine, which will help them immensely in this crazy month ahead.
Knock may be the song that pushes the group further into the spotlight. I feel like All Night and Blue Flame did a fine job at putting the group into the spotlight, but it hasn’t been enough to make them the centre of attention based on the resultant reception that I got from my research. After all, the group is charting higher than ever with Knock. I put my finger on a number of aspects of the song that may be helping with this. The first has to be the song’s robust and very dynamic chorus. I like how the song’s main hook (i.e. the ‘Knock Knock Knock‘) felt like mini jabs throughout the chorus that really reeled you in and grabbed your attention. The second has to the be powerful rapping. Both JinJin and Rocky shined in the verses. But once the bridge came, I wanted more and they delivered with an extra powerful sequence. And as a cherry on the top, JinJin had a final section with was rapping overload for me (in a good way). The third has to be the vocals. MJ, Moonbin, Eunwoo and Sanha all sounded really clear and crisp. The powerful dance instrumentation was very loud and I was concerned that the members would be drowned in the midst of the music. The fourth has to be the instrumental, which I have just touched on. I liked how the chorus contrasted with the instrumentation in the verses, which was a lot more melodic and calmer. Put everything together and you get Knock.
The concept of the music video and comeback is dimension travelling, which isn’t a unfamiliar concept in the KPOP world. I am a little hesitant calling it time travelling, even though their image teasers hinted towards it, as I didn’t see much references to time. But what I think I find very unique about the music video is that they focus on the middle region of this travelling between different worlds, which is often not even shown in music videos related to time travelling or going in between worlds. It was stunning video and you could see how the multiple worlds was accessible in this realm or limbo that they are in. The visual effects for the spiraling staircases and the floating planets looked amazing. Even the members looked very attractive and captivating in this video.
The choreography left a very strong impression on me. In an interview published by Soompi, the group expressed how tiring the choreography. And what I saw in the music video looked really exhausting. But it was a very powerful routine that shows off the group’s dancing ability. Just watch look at each moment where they sing ‘Knock Knock Knock‘. There is no resting period in this choreography and it requires stamina. So props to the members for this powerful choreography, especially in the weeks to come.
Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.7/10