Another group who made their comeback yesterday is (G)I-DLE (though sans one member, Soojin, who was permanently withdrawn for the group following past bullying accusations made against her). The group has since reformed into a five member group, and made their long awaited comeback with TOMBOY, which leads the group’s first studio album, I NEVER DIE. This is the first comeback following the release of HWAA in January 2021. It also follows the solo debut of Yuqi (who debuted with Giant and Bonnie and Clyde) and the solo comeback of Kim Soyeon (with Beam Beam).
Just like the name suggests, TOMBOY takes on an edgy appeal. This edgy sound is something that I have personally thought would fit (G)I-DLE really well and that is what I get out of TOMBOY. The instrumental has this punkish rock profile that is powerful, tough, intimidating and fierce. The electric guitars are top notch and slamming throughout. But while the instrumental gets the praises, the other elements to TOMBOY are a bit … flat. From start to end, I felt the members delivery just didn’t live up to the hype and energy created by the instrumental. You can tell what the intended effect of all the parts were (it all goes back to being edgy), but their delivery and execution was weakened by the poor lyrics of the song. Within the first few seconds of the song, we get ‘Look at my toe‘. The repetition of the line ‘Ye I’m a tomboy‘ and similar variations loses its effect every time it is repeated. And ‘Sometimes we swear without cigarettes. I like to eh on drinking whiskey‘ doesn’t show for anything. Furthermore, it was all delivered in the same manner/tone and didn’t give much opportunity for the group to show off their own character or personality. It isn’t all weak though. There were some good vocal moments, such as the pre-chorus, which I liked. But it just wasn’t enough to save the likes of TOMBOY. The ‘Man or Woman‘ sequence and the extra bit of instrumentation we get at the end was good though. But again, not enough to save the song. Overall, I liked the idea of TOMBOY and think it fits with the group. But it was just not executed in a manner that it a great enough manner.
The music video was a lot cooler than the song. It was dominated by a heavy presence of the colour red and had some edgy imagery (i.e. blending of the Ken doll for some blood). It does steer the concept towards ‘try hard’ territory. But I don’t think we get there yet. The music video contains a lot of confidence and charisma that might have just helped hold back the music video from entering that territory. What I really enjoyed was that whole doll sequence, where the members (as dolls) drug the male doll, kidnap him and hang him upside down while threatening him with a gun, whilst innocently swaying their heads from side to side. Also really enjoyed the timing of the car explosion.
The charisma and confidence I just mentioned is all over this stage. It made the performance extremely worthwhile to watch, even though the main move looked meh. The verses were also good, and the final sequence just oozed of coolness and edginess, which I am sure is exactly what the members/choreographers wanted.
Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.3/10