[Review] Tonight – BLACKSWAN

BLACKSWAN may be a newly debuted group, but they have such a long history in KPOP. They dropped Tonight as the lead single from their Goodbye Rania studio album. This now four member female group (consisting of Yongheun, Fatou, Judy and Leia) hails from DR Music, which was once the home of their predecessor groups, Rania (who debuted back in 2011) and BP Rania (who debuted in 2016). Long story short, Rania/BP Rania/BLACKSWAN have undergone numerous lineup changes for various reasons over the years, which have lead them to be rebranded. The most recent lineup involved the fifth member of BLACKSWAN, Hyeme. She has been swept up in a scandal and ‘decided’ not to renew her contract the day after the scandal broke out. The timing of this is very suspicious. But hopefully, this is the final lineup change for the group all too familiar with the procedure.

Tonight is a song full of heft and it actually comes off as a very substantial release. I really liked the electrifying instrumentation that brings a whole different type of powerful energy to the song, something that KPOP hasn’t really had for a while now. The constant electric guitar in the background peaks my interest and brings an exciting edginess to the song. The stomping percussions really amplifies the intensity and powerfulness of the instrumentation and works extremely well with the vocal work. The vocal work was enjoyable and was pretty much a solid effort. It paired with the instrumentation brought some attitude and sass to Tonight, which makes the song even more exciting. But the member with the full spotlight on her is Fatou, who brings a whole new dynamic with her rap sequence. Her delivery and technique resembles female rappers in the Western music industry and it feels very unique. Her style also fits perfectly with the attitude and sass profile that I just commented on. Hopefully her company recognises this and keeps Fatou on with the group (and avoids the entire debacle of former member Alex). Overall, Tonight might be the turning point for this female group, provided they can recover after the departure of Hyeme.

The use of the ‘disclaimer’ scene at the very start of the video, warning us of a ‘Strong Performance and Song. Sexuality’, whilst recommending it all audiences was pretty unnecessary and starts the video off with a cringy note. However, they weren’t exactly lying. The entire video has this powerful energy that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from. That is probably a good sign. The video opts for that choreography and closeup formula, but their powerfulness makes me overlook that typical approach. Their closeups are very alluring and these ladies have a lot of charisma. Aside from the ‘Strong Performance and Song’, the music video features the members dressed in nude colour tones and has a lot of sexual energy in it that I think works extremely well with their concept and makes a clear statement to other artists that they should not mess around with them. I also thought the editing for the video was really good.

They have a solid stage presence that really amplifies the song when they perform it. I also enjoyed how their live performance does not shortchange the energy and powerful nature of the dance routine, which I think is fantastic.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

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