[Review] We Fresh – Kep1er

Kep1er is back with a brand new single and mini-album. Titled We Fresh and Troubleshoot respectively, this is the group’s second comeback of the year and since their debut (in Korea), following the likes of WA DA DA and Up!. Since their last comeback. Kep1er also made their debut in Japan with the single Wing Wing, which (like most of the non-Korean releases this year) has not been reviewed yet.

We Fresh is another one of those songs that had quite a bit going on within it, simply because it mashes up multiple influences and sound profiles within the song’s 3:15 minute span. Interestingly, We Fresh isn’t all bad. I found it cohesive enough to enjoy and that the song felt whole. However, naturally with these types of songs, there are parts that I really enjoyed and there are parts that I wish were left out or swapped out for something better. Let’s start off with the stuff within We Fresh that I did like. The punk rock that we get at the start and throughout the background of the song was super cool, and I wished the producers had delved more into that genre (or perhaps develop a song that is just punk rock). I know it is very 2022, but it would be on trend and I am not tired of it. Similarly, I really enjoyed that rock guitar breakdown following the second chorus / just before the bridge (sans Hikaru’s “We’re gon’ to the next” line). It was quite intense and had a great rush of energy, making it a highlight in We Fresh. The shouty vocals and delivery of the chorus worked well in this song, as well. We Fresh definitely had some vibrant energy, and I feel this style of delivery of the chorus complemented the dynamic nature of the song. I also enjoyed the fast pace feel of the song, for the same reasons. There was also a nice buildup in the pre-choruses, courtesy of Xiaoting. As for the parts I disliked in this song, all of the honky brass and horns we get in the song. While I didn’t mind it in the backing behind the vocals during the choruses, I am not definitely not a fan of them when it got squeaky and unsettling during the breakdown within the choruses. This just felt a sour feel that infected all of the brass and horns that we got in We Fresh. And it is quite disappointing, as that makes up a large chunk of the song and the main centre of the song. Overall, We Fresh potentially could have been a strong release for me, but it was weakened for some unwanted inclusions.

I don’t have too much to say about the music video. The visual of the members throughout the solo shots were very cool. Huening Bahiyyih with her samurai sword and Hikaru’s gun fight scene were the ones that left the biggest impression on me throughout this video. I also quite enjoyed the final choreography scene, with the background looking like newspaper or comic clippings and such. Overall, a good video to accompany this release.

The choreography embraces the edgy side of the song, but mixes it with Kep1er’s youthful side that they have shown through both their debut and first comeback singles. It creates for a strong routine that suits Kep1er likeness. I cannot imagine another group pulling off this performance – which is probably one of the highest compliments I can pay to a group. I did wish the choreography associated with the rock breakdown following the second chorus was more intense and concentrated. It was fairly weak, in my opinion.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10

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