Out of all the rookies that debuted last year, CRAVITY was one of the few I truly got excited about. I tried so hard to be firm about not adding more groups to my already huge list, but CRAVITY ruined my plans. In fact, I loved their debut song so much that it made it into my Top 10 songs of 2020. So needless to say, I was definitely anticipating their first comeback of 2021 and seeing what they would bring to the table. After the powerful and energetic “Break All the Rules” and the smooth yet impactful “Flame,” CRAVITY has found a happy medium with the cool yet exciting “My Turn.”
I really appreciate how CRAVITY’s music doesn’t force the members to all have the same sound or vocal color when singing, and that’s really apparent in “My Turn.” There’s Serim and Allen’s charismatic rapping, there are members like Hyeongjun who sing with a shorter and more staccato style; and there are others who have much smoother vocals like Jungmo and Seongmin. You’d think constantly moving back and forth between these two dynamics in one song would be jarring, but it flows really well. And as a rookie group, it allows CRAVITY to build their own unique sound and energy. I don’t even know all the members that well aside from the ones who were on Produce X 101, but their parts in “My Turn” are so distinctive that I can still tell them apart.
The moment I heard the unique beat of “My Turn,” I knew this was a song I was going to like. Much like “Break All the Rules,” I thought it was going to be a really interesting song. For the first verse, I was totally nodding and bopping along to the music… but then we got to the chorus. As a woman who is now 30, I know I’m not CRAVITY’s intended audience – and I totally accept that. But I still have to say it: I lowkey hate that the key point of this song is literally, “Vroom vroom vroom vroom vroom vroom vroom vroom skrrt.” I get that K-pop is all about being cool and trendy, but this one is just a no for me. They nearly lost me with that chorus, but I’ll admit that I still like the syncopated beats and the musicality of it. And I like how the choreography does an especially good job of playing with the beats like the song itself. So it almost balances out in the end.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t overly impressed with the music video. It looks very nice and high-quality, and I do like the polished black and white aesthetic with the occasional pops of color – especially the red. But sadly, the music video ultimately doesn’t really do anything to show off CRAVITY as a group. All of the scenes are related to basketball and racing cars; both of those are associated with adrenaline and competition, which are strong themes that run throughout the lyrics of “My Turn.” Starship could have made a music video using a basketball game or a race as the driving storyline, but we got a bunch of aesthetic looking shots instead. It was definitely a missed opportunity to drive home a point, which is a shame.
MY OVERALL INTEREST LEVEL
(NOTE: My options for each category are “Love,” “Like,” “Neutral,” “Not My Style,” or “Dislike.” But I rarely dislike anything, so I’ll mostly be using the other four.)
I feel like I’m being really picky with CRAVITY’s release – actually, I KNOW I’m being really picky – but it’s because I want them to do well. I get that many rookie groups need a few comebacks to establish themselves, but “Break All the Rules” was such a stellar debut song that gave a great first impression. While I like their other singles, I feel they haven’t made as much of a splash. So it feels like each comeback is getting further away from the strength of their debut – not by much, but by some. I think that I’d have been much more amenable to “My Turn” if that had been their debut song, but we got “Break All the Rules” first. So, my expectations for them were quite high. That’s always the downside when a group releases a song I’m absolutely obsessed with – it’s hard for the ones that come right after to reach the same level for me, even with long time groups I’m a big fan of.
That being said, I think “My Turn” is really good for a rookie song. I DO like it; I just don’t love it. And even though I don’t think that it’s firing on all cylinders, it’s still a solid brick in the foundation CRAVITY is building their career on. I’ll continue to support CRAVITY, and I look forward to seeing what they bring us in the future – because I truly believe they’re only getting started.
(“Knee Jerk Reaction” is a column I created to talk about comebacks or debuts when I don’t have a lot of time to write in-depth reviews. A knee jerk reaction is like an automatic response, so it’s a post about my initial thoughts on the song, the music video, and the performance if it’s available. Compared to my reviews, everything is more stream of consciousness and less analytical. And everything is 100% my own opinion!)
SOURCES: Music video belongs to Starship Entertainment. Cover Image is of CRAVITY at their comeback showcase, which was originally posted on their Twitter account here.