I start off this week with a review for a new release, before I turn my focus onto the female rookies that I have promised to review. And kicking off this particular week is LE SSERAFIM, who makes their first comeback with ANTIFRAGILE and the mini-album of the same name. The group’s previous release was their debut single, FEARLESS, which proved to be a massive hit upon its release, so there are some very high expectations with ANTIFRAGILE. Let’s see if they reach and/or exceed those expectations.
ANTIFRAGILE maintains the minimalist style that featured in FEARLESS to a degree. With the success of their debut song and how much I enjoyed the track, I am definitely on board to see how LE SSERAFIM would incorporate it into their new single. For ANTIFRAGILE, the minimalistic impression comes through the hooks of the song, which are more on the spoken or chanty side. To an even lesser degree, their vocals give off a similar impression. There isn’t exactly much going around the hooks of ANTIFRAGILE, hence why I am describing those sequences as ‘minimalistic’. The vocals don’t feel 100% incorporated with the backing, and so the way their vocals and raps interacted with the instrumental gave off the minimalistic feel. I find all of this does set ANTIFRAGILE up quite well, as it provide us with something new (and not a rehashed form of FEARLESS), whilst also maintaining a bit of identity for the group between releases. Now, I touched on some aspects of the song already that I just want to dive deeper into. I found the song’s initial hook (i.e. the ‘Anti ti ti ti fragile‘) to be quite jarring. But at the same time, I can definitely see it growing on me with repeated listens. The rest of the repetitive hooks in the song are just fine and help grows the song’s likeness. The instrumental had some good rhythm, with a slight reggae influence to it. However, while the consistent/repetitive percussion and rhythm keeps ANTIFRAGILE upbeat and appealing, I could have done with less of that faint whistle synth. I feel like that (out of all the repetitive and jarring elements of the song) might do my head in the most and the quickest. The verses of ANTIFRAGILE were probably the most forgettable sequences in the song, as the choruses stand out the most and are the catchiest parts of the song. Overall, I wouldn’t exactly describe ANTIFRAGILE as an exceed expectations, but it definitely heads in that direction.
The concept of the music video is quite an intriguing but clever way of showing the group is ANTIFRAGILE. Essentially, the world is doomed with the flying asteroid crushing into Earth. Everyone around them is running around and panicking, but not LE SSERAFIM, who goes about their day and lives as usual. While it is chaos on the streets, the group are just proving to us it is another day. At the end of the video, the asteroid does make impact with the members. But they come out of it unscathed, showing us that they are indeed ANTIFRAGILE. I think the music video could have used a little more vibrancy, but I do appreciate that there is more colour in this video compared to their last video.
I really liked the bounce they had in the performance, and the use of their muscle pose to show that they are ANTIFRAGILE (i.e. toughness and strongness). I did think the love hearts at the end of the performance were cringy and don’t really reflect the entire three minutes before it. I also think a better killing point move during the ‘Anti ti ti ti fragile’ hook would have been ideal. But a good performance, overall.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10