Kickstarting what is already shaping to be a busy 2022 is a very long list of comebacks and debuts. The first release that I have selected to be the first review of the year is Kep1er’s debut single, WA DA DA, which officially dropped yesterday. For those who don’t know, Kep1er is a nine-member project group under WAKEONE and Swing Entertainment, formed through the survival show Girls Planet 999. The final lineup of the group consist of Choi Yujin (former CLC member), Shen Xiaoting, Sakamoto Mashiro, Kim Chaehyun, Kim Dayeon, Ezaki Hikaru, Huening Bahiyyih (sister of Heungkai from TXT), Seo Youngeun, Kang Yeseo (former member of Busters). The group was originally meant to debut back in December 2020, but some of the members contracted COVID which resulted in the postponement of their debut to yesterday.
WA DA DA definitely has potential as a debut song. For the most part, I quite enjoyed the song. But there were some parts that I did not like and created holes in an otherwise decent track. I would personally put WA DA DA into the ‘girl crush’ style of music. I know it is a generic sound in KPOP, but I just wished the producers of WA DA DA kept to just that. There seemed to be a desire to capitalise on the member’s youth, and so there are all these cutesy elements inserted into WA DA DA that I believe do not fit in with the the ‘girl crush’ concept. A prime example of this occurring is the two halves of the chorus. I really enjoyed the sassy attitude of the first half of the chorus. This felt great following the promise from the verses and rapping elements in WA DA DA. The second half of the chorus disrupted this energy and diverted the song into a more cutesy direction with high-pitched vocals, which I felt was a wrong move. The producers of the song could have just picked one direction and done that one extremely well, with my obvious preference being the girl crush sound. In other promising areas, the bold and strong vocals in the pre-chorus stood out for me. The other part of WA DA DA which I am a bit torn about is the song’s title and main hook. Looking back, it has its merits and is catchy. But I feel WA DA DA is a bit elementary and childish. It didn’t really fit in with the intense moments of the song, and hence I felt that it brought down the quality of the song. For a debut track and all the hype behind Kep1er, I expected something more solid for WA DA DA and not as flawed.
The music video was definitely going towards that girl crush concept direction, which I didn’t mind. Generic as it is, it isn’t a terrible concept/idea. Just unoriginal. I did like the post-production effects on this video, like how the members kept on disappearing and reappearing during the bridge/first half of the final chorus. Plus all the mini lightnings that were coming from their hands. It added a much cooler vibe to the video.
The performance overall was quite good. Again, I wished the performance went in one of the two directions (i.e. girl crush vs. cutesy). We get a mix of both here. I understand that the performance would need to conform to the song, so they did fine in this department for the WA DA DA that we got. I did like the different ways the members got into formation throughout this performance. I am, however, unsure of the various hand movements they had in the choreography, not sure what what they were to represent, if anything.
Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 6.9/10