It is time to get back into review mode. There is a lot to catch up on over the last two weeks and before that, but let’s start on more recent releases and work our ways backwards. For this post, I will be focusing on LABOUM’s Kiss Kiss, which officially dropped yesterday. Kiss Kiss is a notable release for the group for a number of reasons. Firstly, the release marks seven years since the group’s debut. Secondly, it is the first release since the release of Firework back in 2019 (they did release a single titled CHEESE in 2020, but never promoted it). Kiss Kiss also follows the resurgence of Journey to Atlantis (one of their 2016 singles) earlier this year; is their first release as a four-member group since Yujeong’s exit from the group, and is their first release under Interpark Music Plus. Definitely a number of changes and milestones.
Pretend there is a spectrum. One end of the spectrum is the group’s earlier cutesy work, such as the recently popular Journey of Atlantis or Hwi Hwi. On the other end, you would find the group’s more refined and mature comebacks like Firework and Between Us (the latter song grew on me considerably since I reviewed it). Somewhere along the middle is Kiss Kiss. In a perfect world, Kiss Kiss would have taken the best of both worlds and created a really nice blended track, and I would have fallen for the track as both ends of the spectrum are favourite sounds from the group. But the resulting Kiss Kiss we did get doesn’t hit the mark. It is a pleasant track, so it isn’t all bad news. But I think that is the furthest extent I would go with describing the song. Kiss Kiss is rather forgettable, and I found that I had to really focus on the song to really get something out of it. The instrumental, while soothing and pretty, did not have any memorable elements within it, leading to a background that felt like a grey blur. If you were listening to Kiss Kiss casually, the instrumental won’t draw your attention. Likewise, the vocals were really nice when you focus on them and have a sweetness to them that made me smile. But the melodies just don’t pull you in as much. Solbin’s rapping was a nice touch and was well incorporated into the softer sound of Kiss Kiss. But like the vocals, not really something to pull you in. The hooks were weak and forgettable, as well. I wish each element really stood out from afar/if you were to listen to the song casually. If this was the case, I am sure I would have found myself gravitating back to the song. But Kiss Kiss just doesn’t do that and may become a victim of the skip button.
The Kiss Kiss music video looks good. It isn’t the most interesting music video, and the sets did look quite cheap (I think the main choreography one is one that we see often). But there were some good shots in there and their visuals were very strong. Like the song, there is a pretty and sweet aesthetic to this video, which made it pleasant to watch. I liked the post-production additions to the video, but I thought the style the producer/editors opted for suited a more cutesy style/concept than Kiss Kiss‘s concept (which I would say is slightly more mature).
The speed at which the choreography was at made the song seem more upbeat than what it felt like if you were to listen to the song by itself. I actually quite liked that. It gives off a different feel, and makes the song a little more inviting (but not enough to really change my thoughts above). I liked the ‘Kiss Kiss‘ part of the choreography (the one that outros the chorus).
Song – 6/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.9/10