[Review] FIRST – EVERGLOW

Earlier this week, EVERGLOW made their long-awaited comeback with FIRST, which headlines their third single album, Last Melody. This is the group’s first comeback in just over eight months, with their previous comeback being LA DI DA at the end of September 2020. LA DI DA was such a big comeback for the group, which earned them Best Music Video, Best Female Group Choreography, Best Album (for -77.82X–78.29) of 2020 in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards, as chosen by you. LA DI DA was also the third Best Song of 2020! Let’s see if FIRST has what it takes to repeat or exceed the standard set by LA DI DA for EVERGLOW’s discography.

Thrilling is how I would describe FIRST. From the dramatic violins that open up the song to the bombastic nature of the instrumentation during the chorus, everything instrumentally comes together to give off a thrilling atmosphere and evokes what felt like an adrenaline rush for me. That is a really strong effect and I am impressed that EVERGLOW managed to pull it off, This is especially considering that so many songs attempt to do the same, but disappointedly fall short. But this clearly is not the case for EVERGLOW’s FIRST. I particularly really like that final sequence, which felt like an additional treat. The energy that comes suddenly out of nowhere really caps off the song splendidly. To aid the instrumentation and show off EVERGLOW, the members’ vocal work and rapping reaches the same effect. What easily could have happened, that we have heard time and time again in other songs, are the members are hidden by the instrumental. Despite FIRST falling into what some might call the ‘noisy’ category, the members still come out on top of everything, which is what you want. So far, everything comes together really well to be such a dynamic track. But following the likes of LA DI DA was, from the start, going to be a hard feat. And I feel that while FIRST is dynamic, it lacks one element that prevents it from overtaking LA DI DA. At least, this is what I think. To me, FIRST lacks that robust hook that really catches on. I enjoyed the energy and feeling of the song, but I didn’t really remember much when it came to the lyrics. If only FIRST had memorable hook, I would have bumped this song to the start of my personal favourite EVERGLOW song, but LA DI DA manages to still hold onto that title.

The music video for FIRST was extremely dynamic in a visual sense. Everything in the music video really works extremely well to create a stunning visual piece to accompany the likes of FIRST. This includes everything from the styling of the members’ outfits, to the choice of background and sets for all the shots, to the visual effects add to the video. There was a sense of boldness to the video which was fitting for EVERGLOW. Their outfits just make the members pop right out at you. The stylists definitely deserve a shoutout for this! The various sets and locations they used for shooting came with an epic feel to it, which added a thrilling tinge to the video. The visual effects gave the video a bit of an interactive fanfare and made the transitions look so cool, which made the video even more dynamic. The camera work fitted the energy of the song. It is one of the best videos of the years, thus far.

To match the powerfulness and boldness of the song, the performance aligns well. However (since it looks like the routine is so intense) by the time they get to that final sequence where the music comes out at you, the choreography just didn’t seem as satsifying. I feel like the members put in so much of their energy throughout the earlier sequences, that there isn’t much left over to push themselves for that ending sequence.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

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