[Review] Bad Guy – 1THE9

The one thing I don’t understand when it comes to project groups are their lack of comebacks. These groups have only a limited time to make a mark in the industry. But often, their companies schedule in massive gaps between comebacks. Take 1THE9 for example. Formed in 2018 through the survival show Under 19, they debuted in April 2019 with Spotlight. Within 6 months, the group returned with Blah. But it took them eight months to finally return with their third release and it seems it is going to be their last comeback ever as their contracts wrap up ‘soon’. I don’t blame the members, as I am assuming this is a management decision (I think the members would be eager to get back onto the stage since they are just newly debut). But rant over. I am excited that 1THE9 is back with Bad Guy, which is featured on the group’s third mini-album, Turn Over.

I will admit that I have forgotten about 1THE9 and their two previous singles. Looking back on their reviews, I can’t blame myself as their songs were not as memorable or impactful as I had hoped when they first released them. Bad Guy might have a bit more luck in this department. What I have listened to while writing this review is actually not bad. It does lack uniqueness as it does have a certain level of standardness to it. The instrumental feels a little too consistent and I feel that it is missing a spark, particularly around the rap sequence. The rapping is is fine. I just expected something a little more exciting rather than a mild instrumental strip back. But apart from that missing spark, the instrumental felt quite solid and had a nice level of intensity. I like the buildup in the pre-chorus, using that ‘pew pew’ electronic dubstep synth we hear often (there is probably a proper name for it, but I love calling it that). I also like how the chorus felt like it ‘leveled up’ from the verse, by loading it with the synths we hear. Their vocals and raps were also a strong aspect. I liked how their vocals stayed on top of the instrumental. The instrumental during the chorus felt like it could easily have overpowered the vocals due to the intensity. But upon multiple re-listens, it seems that the vocals take the edge. I also really like the song’s melody when it comes to the chorus. All the positives aspects occur in the chorus and this really helps make the Bad Guy chorus bold and memorable, hence why I said Bad Guy might be able to perform better in that area earlier.

I found the music video to be on that typical side. Once again, it follows the closeup and choreography mashup. The lyrics was about choosing to be the bad guy for their partner and I feel that this could have been interpreted into an interesting plot line. This would obviously make the video boring and I did not need to put this video on the typical side of the spectrum. Some of the closeup shots shared between members were a little interesting. I sensed some hostility and I wished they had expanded on this a little more to be more interesting. I also liked the different patterns they had projected on the walls, though I think these were more artistic choices rather than contributing to those hostility vibes I got.

The performance was also a bore. It didn’t seem impressive and this feels disappointing. I felt that the members could have gone with slightly edgier moves that could have highlighted more of their skills. The choreography that I saw was quite safe and bland.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 5/10
Overall Rating – 6.9/10

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