Weeekly is still a young group, but they’ve established their signature sound in just over a year – which I always think is quite impressive, because it takes many rookies a while to find their footing. All of their title tracks so far have been bright and bubbly, with easily memorable melodies and interesting arrangements. I wouldn’t necessarily call their style “cute,” but it’s definitely pretty fun and fresh. The last time I wrote about Weeekly, I mentioned that I have trouble getting into them – I think their music is nice, but I don’t really connect with it much. (It’s not their fault; it’s because I’m almost twice their age.) But I certainly recognize their potential, so I was curious to see what they would do with their latest comeback.
The second I started listening to “Holiday Party,” I was immediately pulled in. I wish I was more knowledgeable about music production and could tell you what instrument is playing in the opening, but whatever it is captured my attention right from the start. There’s also a chill and kind of grooving quality to the arrangement that contrasts nicely with Weeekly’s lovely and charming vocals. And as always, the melody is pretty interesting and catchy. I think “Holiday Party” fits in nicely with the rest of Weeekly’s discography, but it also stands out to me just a little more than the rest of their title tracks.
Since this is a post about first impressions, my initial feelings about this comeback are that I like the song a lot more than the music video and the choreography. This is kind of strange for me because I rarely find myself in this situation, and I actually can’t remember the last time this happened. It’s not that I dislike those aspects of the release – they’re definitely not bad, and they both have a lot of positive points. And it’s not a critique of anything Weeekly is specifically doing, either. It’s just that I personally don’t really have any strong feelings about these two elements. I think my neutral reaction is mainly because I’m multifandom, and I’ve seen so many videos and performances that they all blend together sometimes. And while Weeekly is certainly talented and doing a great job, those visual components aren’t super unique at this point.
For example, the music video for “Holiday Party” is very pleasing to the eye. It has a cute premise of Weeekly taking a trip to outer space and going to a party on a different planet, which is honestly a pretty creative idea that’s reflected in the detailed production design. The effects and color palette are well-chosen, and the members obviously look stunning. All-in-all, it’s a solid music video. However, it doesn’t really do anything for me. I watch dozens of K-pop videos a year, and I feel like many of them have a similar focus on nice colorful aesthetics. In my opinion, this one doesn’t really show me what makes Weeekly stand out from all the other girl groups out there.
I feel somewhat similarly about the choreography. It’s clearly crafted to be fun and entertaining, and it’s packed with trendy key points. The chorus and highlight moves are quite memorable, which is definitely important for any K-pop dance. And you can tell that the members of Weeekly are enjoying themselves, which is always a plus. But once again, I know so many girl group choreographies that I vaguely feel like I’ve seen all of these steps in other dances before. It kind of feels like the choreographer(s) gave them a mashup of popular moves rather than something they could truly call their own. Also, I feel like it kind of has a TikTok dance vibe – which comes with both pros and cons.
To be clear, none of this is meant to be criticism or hate. I’m pointing these things out because I feel like Weeekly has a lot to offer, and I want their work to reflect that. Like I said before, their music is really distinctive for a rookie group. I just wish the rest of the comeback was also like that, and not as focused on what’s popular right now. It’s natural to follow all the latest trends, but that also comes with the risk of blending in with everyone else a little too much. So going forward, I think Weeekly’s team can improve on helping them stand out more. But they’re just barely over a year old, so they obviously have plenty of time to establish their own special image.
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.)
Even though I’m ranking my level of interest and not the quality of the comeback, I feel bad about marking two out of three categories as “neutral” – especially since I like “Holiday Party” (the song) so much. I truly try to be open-minded and flexible about my reactions, so I always feel a little guilty when I have an ambivalent response. But at the end of the day, I’m not really invested in this comeback enough to spend a lot of time on it. My opinion of Weeekly is pretty much the same as when they released “After School” – I think their music is fun and catchy, but it’s not my preferred style. But even if I’m staying a casual listener, I’m still rooting for them. They’re doing great for a rookie group, and quality songs like “After School” and “Holiday Party” are definitely a major contributing factor.
(“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: Featured image and music video belong to Play M Entertainment. Music video distributed by 1theK.