[Review] DOOMCHITA – SECRET NUMBER

It personally has felt like it has been a while since I wrote a song review. It doesn’t feel like my last one was just over a week ago. With my final Queendom 2 post scheduled for publish tomorrow, I am looking to jump right back into the song and album reviews that I have neglected the past few weeks. But that is after I complete some reviews for the releases of this week. First up is SECRET NUMBER, who made their return yesterday with DOOMCHITA. This is their first comeback since Fire Saturday, which was released back in October of last year. The group also officially reformed into a six member group with this latest comeback, following the official announcement of Denise earlier this year.

Got That Boom was the last track that I reviewed from this group (can’t exactly remember why I passed up the opportunity to review Fire Saturday, but given it was released in October 2021, it was most likely due to time constraints). If I felt 8 days was a while ago (reference to my first two sentences to this review), I think Got That Boom can also be said was a while ago. And so, I have unfortunately forgotten the group. But when there is a chance to rediscover the group, I am always down for it. But listening to DOOMCHITA, I am not exactly sure I am that keen anymore. DOOMCHITA doesn’t have individuality or character, and this alone doesn’t really encourage me to check out their other works. It is a pretty generic release, fitting neatly into the sea of other electronic releases that goes for a powerful and abrasive profile that we have been hearing often. I did like the moment in which the instrumental did ‘kick it up a notch’ just before the final chorus. It added a touch of dynamism to the song, which I appreciated, and felt a lot tighter compared to the rest of the instrumental. DOOMCHITA‘s hooks and melodies aren’t that memorable and I don’t find myself reaching for the replay button or feeling the song. All of this is quite a letdown, especially since DOOMCHITA features solid vocals and rapping from the members. The actual delivery of these lines was pretty generic as well, but I quite liked how bolstered the vocals/rapping felt over the instrumental, which helped give off that ‘solid impression’. They easily could have inserted that character and individual character via their delivery, and this could have allowed DOOMCHITA to fair a bit better. However, as much as I try to enjoy the DOOMCHITA, the generic nature takes over.

Same thing can be said about the music video. It goes for that edgy concept that we see so often, and so the video is pretty generic. The sets have those usual tropes of graffiti, WANTED posters etc. I also want to point out that, sometimes, videos with generic concepts could have a wow factor, coming in via a memorable element or moment. But DOOMCHITA‘s music video doesn’t have that. That hanging light fixture that the members are holding onto in some solo shot, which I have exclaimed to be a wow factor (I am sure of it) in the past, is quite dated now. Their colourful outfits faired a bit better, adding some much needed pop into the video. On the other hand, their leather outfits remind me of ITZY’s M.A.F.I.A outfits.

As for the choreography, it looks fine. However, I am of the belief that the moves could have been a bit more aggressive and ‘in your face’. I think the music really calls for that and there was some potential to go that way. But I guess the choreography decided to focus on more sensual movements instead, which was alright.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 5/10
Performance – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 5.8/10

[Review] Got That Boom – SECRET NUMBER

Earlier this month, SECERET NUMBER made their first comeback with Got That Boom. For those who have missed this female rookie group, they are a five-member group (consisting of Léa, Dita, Jinny, Soodam and Denise) under Vine Entertainment. This Got That Boom comeback comes after their debut with Who Dis? earlier this year.

The opening of Got That Boom always reminds me of an ITZY styled track. In my point of view, this sets up this track positively. And this is only positive and not a blatant copy of the popular female group because SECERT NUMBER manages to put their own spin on the style through this pop centric chorus and vocal work. Interestingly, I didn’t see this chorus coming. Personally I was expecting a little more attitude if the song was following the ITZY style instrumentally. But SECRET NUMBER manages to spin the song bad filling up the instrumentation with most notably brass and directing it down that pop route. It is still very good and I really thought it was well crafted. The ‘Dance Dance, Dance Dance‘ hook was quite catchy. So was the post-chorus hook with the ‘Tic Tac Toe‘ line. This is where the attitude that I thought was coming ended up. The vocal work was quite solid. It may not be a powerhouse style (which I think could have been used to give the song that extra layer of uniqueness especially for the final chorus – there were some good adlibs, but not that powerhouse style), but there were strong melodies throughout the song. The dance break was very logical. It had the boom that SECRET NUMBER claims that they got. And the rapping gives off a very strong edgy vibe. Overall, SECRET NUMBER proves that they have what it take on the industry with Got That Boom. They just need their own signature style or sound to really make themselves well known.

I really liked the edgy vibes the music video had. The sets, their outfits all carried gave off this vibe and looked pretty cool. There was also this kind of nostalgic factor to the set, given that many female groups have used similar sets in the past. So this video felt like a mashup of those styles, all in which came together quite nicely. The issue with the music video was the editing made it a bit messy. It felt like multiple editors were allowed the edit the video and I felt like I saw four different styles. In hindsight, it didn’t make the video that terrible looking. But it was just very distracting and very inconsistent.

The dance looks nice. There was a nice balance between the attitude behind the moves and the respective parts of the song. The chorus had this cute bounce to it, while the post-chorus hook had more of a mild sassy tone. I wished they took a bit further though, as that part really called for it. Something similar to the dance break and rap sequence would have been ideal.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

[Review] Who Dis? – SECRET NUMBER

It is another late review. This time it is for a brand new group. SECRET NUMBER debuted last week on the 19th of May with Who Dis?. The group is made up of five members (Jinny, Denise, Soodam, Dita and Léa) and are under VINE Entertainment. You may recognise Jinny, as she previously participated in Produce 48 as an independent trainee and placed 69th. Interesting fact, the group was originally meant to debut back in March. But due to the ongoing health pandemic, they pushed their debut to May.

The first thing anyone would note was that Who Dis? is quite brass-heavy. And this is no doubt appealing to many listeners including myself. The group, despite only being newly debuted, has already garnered a lot of attention as their debut music video has already passed 8 million views. Obviously, SECRET NUMBER is doing something right in either the visual or audio department. And I like to think that this is due to the song. The brass sample that starts off the song is a piece that we have heard before. The instrumental features some brass as wow that peeks through the rest of the of thumping instrumental. When we get to the chorus, it felt like we were gonna be thrown into a loop of that same brass sample that kicked of the song. But that would have been boring. The chorus ended being a lot more interesting, amping up the thumping and bringing in a different brass piece to the chorus. The second verse is essentially the same, with Jinny rapping at the start instead. Jinny returns as a rapper for the bridge, just after a little intense break from the brass dominance. She returns once more as a rapper at the end, layered on top of the familiar brass sample I mentioned that kicked things off. You may notice that I am emphasising the rapping a lot. Well, that is because it the stronger element of the song, compared to the vocals. The group can sing. But they needed to follow through with vocal chops filled with some attitude or power to extend the chorus and make it more dynamic. Everything in the vocal department felt too typical and this drained some of the energy from Who Dis?. For a debut single, they knew what they were doing. They just need to refine their skills and I am sure they will be getting a lot more attention in the future.

As mentioned previously, the group has already garnered 8 million views. And while the music video can be cut down the seam to be audio and visual, this section of the review obviously focuses on the visual department. The music video actually looks really good. It does take on the closeup and choreography combination, but I honestly don’t mind it in this video as the closeups look quite captivating and fun. As for the concept, I don’t think it fits into the usual categories of aegyo or girl-crush. Neither is it a mixture, which I am glad. To be honest, it feels a little generic, but I am fine with that as that would be the preferred option over a combination of girl crush and aegyo in my books.

The performance looks a bit generic, like the music video. And at times, it felt relatively weak to other moves (i.e. the short strutting vs. the moves that followed right after, with the strutting being the stronger dance move). It ticks a few boxes. It has that already mentioned strutting to tick the attitude box. There seems to be some visual intensity as we see in the rap sections of the song and the short instrumental break. Overall, a good performance.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10