Before I zip ahead to review KINGDOM’s comeback tomorrow, I thought I take a time to finally review KARMA, the male rookie’s first comeback that occurred back in July of this year. For those who missed it, KINGDOM is a new seven-member male group under GF Entertainment who debuted at the start of the year with Excalibur. After KARMA, the group made their second comeback in their careers with Black Crown today, which I will review tomorrow.
I feel that KARMA is a bit of an improvement for KINGDOM. But I do think the song is still in lukewarm waters and hasn’t grown on my much since its release mid-year. I found the base of KARMA to be pretty much similar to Excalibur (i.e. the EDM in the chorus felt the same and the powerfulness of the song in on par with their debut song). It isn’t necessarily a bad thing for this song, but I guess was hoping for something a lot more different to what we have already from them. But that is only the background of the background. I was actually quite satisfied with everything else. I quite like what the producers did in the foreground of the song. I am referring to the traditional oriental influence that KARMA has, and I quite liked its ongoing presence in the song. Again, it isn’t original, but it definitely adds a memorable factor to the song. My only critique here was to tone down the powerful dominance of the plain EDM in the chorus, just so the traditional elements could also be heard more cleanly. The mention of improvement at the start of this section of the review also extends to the vocal elements. I thought the vocals were a lot more dynamic this time around, even though someone sounded slightly screechy. The rapping in this song had a very cool factor to it, which I quite liked. Overall, a definite improvement. I haven’t listened to Black Crown just yet, but I hope it is another step in the right direction for the group/
In my Excalibur review, I did mention I was worried they were going to redo the same music video for each king that the members are supposedly based on. While it seems like they essentially did just that for this music video (with focus on the Chinese Emperor, Chiyou), it actually came off as a stunning visual piece and I am not bored of it. Maybe by the last king, I would be bored. But for now, I will backtrack on that comment. Overall, this was a really captivating video. I loved the traditional elements that featured in the video, from the sets to the outfits. The members definitely look amazing and aesthetic in their traditional gear. I am definitely looking forward to next king (possibly the Snow King, based on clues from the ending?). On a side note, I am not keen on their choreography outfits. They looks bulky and tiresome to deal with.
Adding to the traditional feels, I really liked the use of the fans in the performance. They added both a wow factor and a pretty element to the routine. I also liked the moments in which the members were being carried, namely the bridge of the song and the ending. Not only did they add height to the performance in the literal sense, I felt it was a fitting way to end the performance, given their regal concepts.
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10