Last month’s Without You was just a pre-release single for KARD. I don’t think there was any indication of this at the time of Without You‘s release, so to hear the co-ed group was returning with their 6th mini-album and new title track was a pleasant surprise. Both the new mini-album and title track are titled ICKY. As mentioned in their Without You review, this is KARD first official comeback since RE: and Ring The Alarm.
ICKY is another decent track from KARD. Not exactly one of their best, but the repetition of the title which makes the song super catchy, Latin beats and groovy aspects of ICKY do come off striking enough. There are some things that I don’t particularly like with the track, such as the dragged out ‘ICKY‘ (which ironically feels icky to me) at the start of the song and the reversion to trap for BM’s rap sequence. For the latter, the contrast here is jarring and unsettling for me. Though I did think the whistle in the background was a nice way to blend that sequence somewhat with the rest of the song. The vocals and rapping were quite strong and I appreciated the members’ effort in ICKY. However, I did feel like they were holding back. But the issue didn’t lie with the quartet. To potentially take it all to the next level (and hence ICKY), I felt there was opportunity for the instrumental to go harder. Some bass or bolder elements in the instrumental would have been ideal for both ICKY and KARD, given that I feel they thrive on intensity as a group. Other than that, I enjoyed the new release from the group.
As for the music video, it was pretty good. My only criticism is that the usage of the chroma key could have been a bit more polished. Aside from that, there is a bit of a story line to the video. Not entirely sure of the meaning or symbolism of this story. But it is clear to me that Jiwoo is some sort of monster (given that she is slimy and seen in the green liquid from the start of the video. The three other members have somehow been trapped. We see Somin in a continuous hallway. J.Seph is sucked into the liquefying floor. BM is falls into a never-ending pool of green liquid. Each of these three ends up in Jiwoo’s lair, who ultimately corrupts the trio (as depicted by the green glow each member gives off and BM’s changed eyes at the very end). Very interesting indeed.
As for the choreography, I have always liked how charismatic the group is on stage. And the choreography for ICKY proves just that. They all have really nailed the whole idea of showing a balanced and uniform amount of charisma throughout, even whilst performing a routine like this. It all translate to an intense routine. No moves stood out in particular, but I did like stomping factor they had going on, along with the hand motions, which gives the choreography a bit more complexity.
Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10