[Review] Think of Dawn – GHOST9

Another review in the same day? Who am I?

The second debut of last week that I want to cover today is GHOST9’s. The group hails from MAROO Entertainment, which is also the home to Park Ji Hoon. GHOST9 contains nine members (Junhyung, Dongjun, Shin, Kangsung, Junseong, Prince, Woojin, Taesung and Jinwoo), with the latter three also part of the TEEN TEEN project group lineup that made their debut last year with It’s On You. Other members of the group come from MIXNINE and Produce X 101 backgrounds as well. The group made their debut last Thursday with Think of Dawn as the title track.

When I checked out Think of Dawn last week, I didn’t think much of it. And unfortunately, it seems like that statement still stands true a week after it was released. It takes on the noisy side form EDM, with some of the instrumental becoming slightly overwhelming when the focus should have purely been on the member’s vocals and rapping. There are a few examples of noisy EDM that I liked this year and I felt that I would have enjoyed Think of Dawn if the producers mixed the song a bit better, so that the members would have been more of the focus rather than the instrumental. But aside from that, it features a strong instrumentation that is extremely powerful to see on stage (more on that later). And their vocals and rapping were of a good standard. I did like how smooth the falsetto vocals in the pre-chorus and chorus felt, contrasting nicely with the intense and almost-erratic nature of the EDM instrumentation. I feel that the song could have been enhanced with some individual flair. To me, Think of Dawn could have been released by a number of other male groups active this year. It was pretty much a ‘heard before’ sound throughout majority of the track. The instrumental dance breakdown was a pleasant surprise. I liked the inclusion of it and its overall intensity, but this would have been a great opportunity to have gone down a unique route. Overall, a decent debut track.

It seemed like the music video didn’t have much to it other than that choreography and closeup formula (I really need to decide which order the two C’s should be in and stick with it). However, at the very end, we see one of the members flip a switch, revealing the massive cyclops robot that follows the members at the very of the music video. The presence of this robot raises questions, some of which are answered in the prequel video ‘Cinematic World‘. However, how did the members get stuck in the set of this music video? And what did the ending of the prequel video mean? I guess we will find out in their next music video/comeback. Story aside, I find such a robot to be very eerie (how fitting for the month of October) and the suspense at the end really sets the bar for the next comeback. I wished they included some of that suspense throughout the earlier parts of the MV. That would have made the video a little more captivating to watch.

As mentioned earlier, the song enables the performance to be very powerful. And that is exactly what we get. I quite like that. But they could have gone for something a little more impressive at the start. It looked cool but compared to other stunts that we have seen this year, it falls short. The performance climaxes during the instrumental dance break, which looked awesome.

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

[Special] Catch Up Review #18 – M.O.N.T, Teen Teen, GreatGuys

It is the final Catch Up Review post for the meantime as I will knock off the final four songs from the ‘Coming Soon’ list. But the segment might come back in a near future so I can tackle reviews for the tracks that I might miss throughout the month. After all, they are quite short to write compared to my full reviews. But before that, we need to tackle four more reviews with the focus on M.O.N.T, Teen Teen and GreatGuys.

Rock Paper Scissor – M.O.N.T

For this review, we need to cast our mind back in January 2011, where M.O.N.T made their debut with Will You Be My Girlfriend?. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember that track whatsoever, so I thought M.O.N.T made their debut with Rock Paper Scissors. But actually, the group made their first comeback with Rock Paper Scissors in August 2019. The group recently came back (unknowingly) and I will have a look at their most recent single another day. But on with the actual review. The song capitalises on the funky hip-hop influences that has been attempted by a number of groups so far. And it is these funky elements including the brass really make the song standout for me. I thought their rapping and vocal work was pretty good. The only issue with the song is that you don’t really hear much development with the track. It stays rather neutral and very consistent with the retro funk sound. But I think the song is very vibrant and appealing that I look pass this and thoroughly enjoy the song as a result. The music video shows the guys catching a glimpse at a lady and battle against one another to get to her with the game in which the song is titled after. As cliche as the next part sounds, they all manage to win and end up going up to he, overwhelming here most likely. It is a good video, with the comic book word effects landing on our screen every now and then throughout the video, which I guess helped the video from developing into a boring mass. The performance was rather weak though. For a song as vibrant as this, you would expect the routine to be a little more uplifting and energetic. (7.1/10)

Bae – M.O.N.T

As far as I know, Bae is a b-side track from the same album that Rock Paper Scissors is featured on. And well, the ‘b-side’ description is very much the song summed up in a nutshell. Firstly, Bae isn’t as heavy or loaded as the title track. Secondly. I find the song a lot sweeter and lighthearted, which contrasts significantly with the title track (see review above). However, I have my reasons to why I am including this song on the review (minus the fact that it has a music video). I thought it was a decent track. Their vocal work was very solid and the song was rather catchy after multiple listens. The song also showed off a different side of the group which we haven’t seen yet, which is always a nice thing since KPOP is very dependent on variety. The music video was shot in a European country that I cannot identify and it showed the members going on a scavenger hunt. They follow clues left on Polaroids and have to complete mini missions to get the next clue. At the end, their prize was a mini fan meet, which I am sure the group will remember for a long time. I am not sure if the group knew at the time, but I thought it was a nice way of showing gratitude to their fans with a lighthearted song like this. As far as I am concerned, there is no live performance/dance routine for this track. (7.6/10)

It’s On You – Teen Teen

I will be honest that this is the first time in a number of months that I have checked out the music video for It’s On You (obviously, for the review). What really strikes me in regards to this group is that that look very young. And after some fact checking, all the members were born in 2003 or 2004 (i.e. when I was in first grade). The group are also former contestants on Produce X 101, so that is why they might seem familiar. It’s On You is another funky hip-hop track. similar to the first song on today’ post. This one is a lot lighter and not as vibrant as the earlier track. It is a little disappointing as the instrumental does feel like it is lacking something to give the song some much needed oomph. I do think the song is a lot more suited for their age. The singing and rapping balances on a fine line of being suitable for the song but also lacking energy, which I thought was interesting. The chorus was at least vibrant enough to really catch my attention. The music video is based around planes, which I think is a fine concept. The video also looks like a 3 minute video of friends having fun, which is obviously the route you would want your music video to go if the artists performing are from such a young age range. I am not for the cutesy side of their performance, however. Yeah, they may be young. But after many years watching music videos and performances, it just looks when they overdo it. And I feel like it that is the case here. (7.1/10)

Be On You – GreatGuys

The final on the list is not a funky retro hip-hop track of any kind. Rest assured. As far as I know, this is my first time reviewing GreatGuys, so I am very unfamiliar with the group. According to a Google search, they are a 9 member male group under DNA Entertainment since 2017. Past works include Illusion, Dang, Ganda and Last Men. Be On You is a very ‘noisy’ dance track. The instrumental, described as a R&B dance track, is loaded with elements that really either works well with one another or you will think is headache inducing. I go back and forth between the two sides depending on my mood. But there is no point in denying the intensity of the song, which I think really helps make this track feel bold. Its noisiness might also be a charm, depending on how you feel about it. I thought the rapping and vocal work (when you can hear it over the instrumental) was pretty good. One concern about the song I have is the questionable title/repeated chorus lyrics. The music video shows two sides of the members. The first being the more intense and dark side of the group, while the second side is the more casual side. Obviously, the latter is more appropriate for the song’s vibe. For some fans, the presence of skin might be a draw point. I personally don’t find the video captivating. It more of the ‘seeing it one is enough’ type for me, as the concepts have been done before by other groups. The choreography was definitely a strong point, in my opinion. Given the song’s sound, I had expected this and through the group delivered nicely on this front. (7.2/10)