[Review] RIDE – KNK

Another group who has been absent from the stage for a year and three months is KNK. It has definitely been a while since we have seen this group as well, with their last comeback being Sunrise in July 2019. Today, the group returns with RIDE and the mini-album, KNK Airline. Here is a fun fact related to this comeback: this comeback is funded by fans after the group and their company started a MAKESTAR project earlier this year. This makes it KNK’s second comeback funded by fans, with Sunrise and KNK S/S Collection being their first! To me, that is pretty cool and shows how strong Tinkerbell’s (their fandom’s name) is.

Something that I find common with KNK comebacks is that they never fail to draw my attention. It is the same case with RIDE, instantly drawing me into the song from my first listen. You might think that I am easy to satisfy, which I agree to a degree. However RIDE manages to have a few tricks up its sleeve that I personally did not expect. I have to begin by saying that RIDE does feel significantly weaker as a whole compared to their previous title tracks. This is partly due to the generic nature of the instrumentation that doesn’t really have much boldness or character to it. However, it is what they add to the instrumentation that gives the song life. Firstly, let’s focus on both the vocals and the melodies in the song. While they aren’t explosive or powerful as they could have been, the choppiness to the melody was pretty unique. And it is more interesting, as the rhythm to RIDE made this choppiness feel smooth (which is contradictory, but KNK and the song’s producers struck a fine balance between the two and I like this very much). The melodies also make this song quite catchy. Secondly, the rapping adds some stability to the song, in my opinion. They help keep the song grounded (or anchored), while the rest of the vocals and melody provided upbeat energy that made the song feel like it was floating about. Thirdly, the energy that I just mentioned was pleasant and enjoyable. It isn’t as hard-hitting as I expected and I thought that was quite nice. Overall, I enjoyed listening to RIDE. It may not be up to par as their past comebacks, but they managed well with it.

Another music video with strong visuals from the members during their closeups. But aside from adopting that same choreography and closeup formula that I have mentioned time and time again, there isn’t much else to the music video. I personally do not understand the setting of the music video. The members are dressed up as pilots and do some choreography on the airplane runway. That makes sense. But it is the desert scenes that I have question marks over. There might be a reference to the desert (or some place isolated and away from civilization) in the lyrics, but I haven’t picked up on anything yet.

The start to the RIDE choreography with Heejun being lifted into the air, after he ‘levitates’ off the ground by holding onto the member’s legs is really cool. There is a subtle smoothness to the choreography that I really enjoyed. I also liked the fast paced nature of some parts, matching the tempo of the music quite well.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

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