[Review] Son of Beast – TO1

It is time for another long overdue review for a release that occurred back at the end of May. As you can tell from the title of this post, this review is for TO1’s Son of Beast, which is the title track off their 3rd overall mini-album, Re:Born. If you haven’t heard of TO1 yet, then don’t fret. They were previously known as TOO for their first two comebacks (Magnolia and Count 1,2) last year. But due to a management dispute, the group ended up rebranding to TO1 earlier this year after signing on under WAKE ONE Entertainment and quickly returned with the appropriately named mini-album, Re:Born.

Son of Beast is an edgy sound for the group, more so than their debut single (Magnolia) and their most recent energetic Summer comeback (Count 1,2). But it isn’t a fresh sound for KPOP in a more general sense, with the song taking a page out of what we hear very commonly coming from male groups in the industry. There isn’t anything wrong with that, as we have seen many groups thrive with this typical edgy sound. But given that TO1 had the opportunity to rebrand, I was surprised to hear that Son of Beast didn’t capitalise on this opportunity to showcase some individuality. That being said, I did like the funky influences that were brought to the verses through the use of the bass guitar. I also really liked the rough texture that is brought to the song via the electronic instrumentation in the chorus. In a way, it also felt retro, as I don’t think it settled on the more modern touches of EDM of today. I was hoping for a bit of an instrumental break when we got to the bridge, which would have allowed the song to experiment within itself, bring more intensity and edge to the song, and also give the members a chance to showcase something along the lines of their Road To Kingdom appearance last year. But altogether, the instrumentation for Son of Beast was definitely good, despite it being more typical that what I had hoped. As for their vocals, I think similar comments could be applied. There was a good showcase of vocals, but no member or moment stood out for me. While the hook is related to their vocals in way, I tend to separate it in my reviews, so that it becomes its own element to chat about. I did enjoy the brief and snappy repetition of ‘I’m a Son of a Beast‘. That line practically was keyed into my memory from the first listen, thanks to the textures given to it by the autotuning. I would have liked to hear it in a bolder manner, so that it really zones into the word ‘Beast’ within that line. The rapping by TO1 members in Son of Beast was definitely more memorable, adding that needed intensity and edge to the song that I hoped a dance break could have concentrated. But overall, Son of Beast is a good track, taking the members in a direction that feels right. I just think more could have been done.

The music video for this release is one of those which you watch once and don’t really need to return to it again. It wasn’t that engaging or mind-blowing for me to click the replay button. Aside from the closeup and choreography formula adopted, the members do a bit of body work for some cars. But to me, that doesn’t seem that cool. The only thing that I did like about the music video was the final dance shot, with how the lighting and length of the set. But besides that, it was a ‘meh’ video to me.

As for the other visual aspect of this comeback, the choreography faired a lot better. It actually looked quite cool, especially when the members paired up in the second pre-chorus to bend backwards and the switching of rappers in the final sequence of the song. But like in the song review part of this review, I did want to see a dance break when we got to the bridge. And I feel if the members looked a bit more angsty, then the performance would have been even better!

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.9/10

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