After weeks of empty promises, I am finally going on a review blitz. I have cancelled the album reviews for this weekend in hopes to get these reviews out. First up on the list is DONGKIZ’s Beautiful comeback, which was dropped this past 19th of August. This Beautiful comeback comes after the release of All I Need Is You and Lupin earlier in the year (which I really enjoyed), along with the debut of a Jae Chan and Min Ik subunit, DONGKIZ I:KAN (which debuted with the single Y.O.U).
As much as I want to say that I am digging this song, I can’t really bring myself to say it because of Beautiful‘s chorus. To me, Beautiful had everything but a smashing chorus. The main hook and supposedly catchiest section of the song ended up sounding like an intense groan (‘intense’ because of the instrumental, ‘groan’ because of the way they sang the title of the song). I honestly cannot think of a better description to summarise what I thought of that section than that. It just felt like the producers of the song placed unnecessary and prolonged emphasis on the Korean word of ‘Beautiful‘. If the execution of the chorus was a lot punchier and less draining, then the song could have been another great one from the group. But unfortunately, that isn’t the case. And that is such a pity, as the verses were really well done. On top of the usual dance instrumentation we hear so often in KPOP, Beautiful manages to infuse some South-Western flair into the music. Different, unique and oddly captivating. It sounds random, but it manages to work. I also enjoyed the vocals during the pre-chorus and the concurrent climb in this section, as it felt like Beautiful was approaching a really cool and dynamic drop. If only we knew what was around the corner…
I felt that this could have been an interesting video, if the video had some sort of introductory sequence or an epilogue at the end of the video. I felt that could have filled in some gaps and so it didn’t need to jam the plot line into a three minute long video. Based from my understanding (and a reminder – my interpretation could be very wrong. So I am happy if you want to correct me or point out some details that I may have missed), the video seems to revolve around Wondae, who seems to be struggling with the idea of inner beauty. The lyrics are all about unmasking and being ones self. The other members seem to try to stop him from doing so, as they seem to be a barrier of some kind (they seem to be doing a lot of haunting, and based on an earlier scene they were the ones masked not Wondae). That is my understanding of the video and I am unclear if he actually ‘unmasks’ at the end of not. I did like the darker atmosphere of the video, despite everyone else saying that the group is conforming to the norm. I personally don’t mind darker atmospheres, as I do prefer them over the brighter concepts. I just wished they were given more time to tell the story.
There is a lot of good footwork and arm-work throughout the performance that makes it a complex routine. Otherwise, at first glance, it looks like the usual stuff we see with most male groups in the industry. They just need some of sort of wow factor in the performance to make this routine memorable. I particularly like the first pre-chorus section of the choreography, which looked really cool on stage.
Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7/10