[Review] Across the Universe – D-CRUNCH

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The next review is for D-CRUNCH, who made their comeback back in October with Across The Universe. D-CRUNCH may be an unfamiliar name to some as they are from a very small entertainment company, Ai Grand Korea (they were previously signed to All-S Company, but have since left that company). I have previously reviewed their Stealer single. But that is from 2018 and so I too need a refresher on who D-CRUNCH are. They are a nine-member male group (consisting of Hyunho, O.V, Minhyuk, Chanyoung, Jungseung, Dylan, Hyunwook, Hyunoh, and Hyunwoo) who made their debut in 2018 with Palace. They then made their comebacks with Stealer (also in 2018), Are You Ready? (in 2019, not reviewed), Pierrot (earlier this year, not reviewed) and now Across The Universe.

To me, Across The Universe has this dramatic flair and a seriousness to it that makes the song appropriate for an action movie, especially in the chorus. I’m thinking a chase scene that has us on the edge of our seats. But back to the song. I find Across The Universe‘s EDM direction to be quite dynamic and full of energy. At first listen, it might just sound like a bunch of noise. And I actually noted down that I wanted to hear something more thrilling and exciting. But after many listens since October, I can safely say that the song had all of that on the instrumentation side of the song. I also liked the use of the marching band and piano in the pre-choruses, which really helped add some flair and different energy throughout the song (i.e. it wasn’t just EDM and synths all the time). And an EDM track like this is definitely full of intensity. But note that I only specifically mentioned this about the instrumentation. My wishing for something a little more thrilling and exciting is still applicable for the vocal work and rapping in this song. I wanted it to be as dynamic as the instrumental and at the moment, it felt a little one dimensional (though the fast rapping sequence in the second verse was definitely a highlight if I focused on the song and was not casually listening to it). As a result, I didn’t find much of their input to be memorable, aside from the ‘Across The Universe‘ line they sing in heavy autotune just prior to launching into the chorus. They do build on their vocals to match the instrumental, which was a plus. But majority of the time, the instrumental felt like it overpowered the vocals and rapping. I also wished the chorus had more of a hook, rather than relying on just the abrasiveness of the EDM. Sometimes it works for me, but other times (like Across The Universe) it doesn’t.

There isn’t much to the video aside from choreography and close ups. There was a bit of a segregation between members for a small part of the video that I wished they could have explored a little more. But it seems like they are friends and aren’t actually enemies. I am not entirely fond of the sandy set. It looks like a backyard. But I did like how they redid the lighting to make it appear like two different sets. The better set of sets (for my personal tastes) are the darker ones, such as when the members were dressed in silky blue outfits in front of the diamond-like structure or white outfits in front of the graffitied wall.

I really like the intensity and energy behind their moves, which matches with the intensity and dynamic nature of the music. I just wished the way they got into formation wasn’t just walking. Maybe incorporate some movements to make getting into formation and hence the entire performance appear more robust.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

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