Normally I try to divide my attention between boy groups and girl groups as evenly as possible, but I feel like boy groups have kind of dominated the releases so far this year (in terms of quantity, not quality). So I’m thrilled that I get to write about MULTIPLE girl groups this week, and I’m glad that more of them are starting to make their comebacks. First up is fromis_9, a promising girl group that I don’t know well but check in with for every release. Though their early songs are a little too cute for me, some of their music has a quirky and whimsical side that I truly enjoy. I felt their comeback last year was pretty lowkey and under the radar, so I was wondering what this newest single would be like.
“We Go” is a refreshing and slightly funky pop track, with the perfect amount of bubbly for definite summer bop potential. While it instills a sense of wanderlust with tantalizing lyrics of traveling and going on a journey, it also has a sweet message that any trip will be fun as long you’re with someone you care about. (The lyrics do seem to imply romance, but I’m choosing to interpret it in a more open manner.) In a way, it reminds me of fromis_9’s other singles “To Heart” and “Feel Good.” I don’t mean that the melodies sound alike, but rather that all three tracks share a certain quality. I think it’s that they have very clean and classic arrangements that allow the members’ earnest and uplifting vocals to shine through. And while songs like “We Go” aren’t normally the ones that appeal to me the most, I’ll admit I find the chorus pretty addictive.
If you’ve read a lot of my reaction posts so far this year, you might have noticed that I can be fairly ambivalent about music videos. I enjoy watching them, but they’re not my main way of consuming K-pop; I’m much more likely to listen to the song on Apple Music or watch performances. It’s really rare for me to enjoy a music video so much that I want to watch it multiple times… but “We Go” is one of those videos. As one might expect from K-pop, the bright and colorful aesthetics are absolutely gorgeous. Also, the editing is top-notch. One thing I learned in film school is that editing is much more valuable than people might realize – “We Go” is the perfect example of how highly creative it can be. Seriously, I’d give it an A+.
Perhaps most importantly, I think the music video’s theme is really relatable. “We Go” is based around the idea of travel, but most of us can’t go actually go anywhere right now because of COVID-19. So as fromis_9 interacts with each other in what I assume is a Zoom call, they also take fun backgrounds and pictures from the past and edit themselves into their own virtual vacations. And while that’s super fun and entertaining to watch, it also helps the music video effectively communicate the song’s message that “Everything will be fine as long as we’re together.” Honestly, that makes me really emotional because I miss traveling and I miss my friends immensely. This music video kind of caught me at a vulnerable moment and I’m lowkey not over it, but I also think it can be reassuring to people having a hard time.
There’s only one thing that I wish was slightly different for this comeback, and that’s the choreography. Yes, that’s right – after a string of posts where I said the dance was my favorite part, I’m finally changing it up. To be clear, I don’t think there’s anything fundamentally wrong with the performance. It’s fun to watch, and it has really entertaining formations and some nice key points – particularly the “What you want, what you want” part. But at the same time, I feel like I’ve seen a lot of the choreography in other places before. It’s kind of like the choreographer took all the classic girl group moves they could think of and combined them into one dance. The girls perform it well and they look great as always, but I just wish that it was just a *little* more original so it could help them stand out more.
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 think “We Go” is absolutely lovely and that fromis_9 has done another wonderful job. It makes me sad that they’re so underrated, so I hope this fun summer single will bring them some more attention and the recognition they deserve. That being said, I don’t think I can spend a lot of time on it right now because of my personal circumstances. Like I mentioned before, I’m currently feeling pretty lonely and isolated because of living abroad during COVID-19. So while I appreciate the message and the idea of “We Go” – and I’m aware it was probably made to be uplifting for people like me – it’s sadly hitting a particularly sensitive spot rather than making me feel better. I wish it were different, but that’s my honest reaction. So I think I’ll wait to really enjoy “We Go” at a time when I’m not quite so moody, and I sincerely hope that time comes soon!
(“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 and featured image belong to Off the Record Entertainment.