(NOTE: This reaction post is a little shorter than normal due to lack of time and personal circumstances.) Truthfully, I haven’t been too invested in this year’s rookie groups so far. It’s not a question of talent or ability, since I always want everyone to succeed. It’s 100% about the major age gap at play, and how I can only relate so much to people who are 10+ years younger. In these cases, it becomes mostly about the music and the concept for me. And out of the 2021 rookies we’ve seen, MIRAE was the only boy group that made an impression on me. I’m still not anything beyond a casual listener, but I found their debut pretty memorable and interesting. So, I was curious to see what they’d bring to the table for their first comeback.
MIRAE’s debut “Killa” was a fast-paced and thrilling EDM track, while their follow-up with “Splash” is more influenced by hip hop and trap. It has an interesting beat with some nice gritty vibes, which pairs well with the group’s charismatic singing and rapping. Their choreography highlights their strong dancing skills, showing really clean lines and some superb synchronization for a very new rookie group. Finally, their music video has good aesthetics and strong imagery. I particularly like how the production design builds on the song title and has a set that make the members look like they’re in a room underwater. All in all, it’s a really solid first comeback that doesn’t have any major missteps.
Unfortunately for me, it looks like “Splash” has fallen victim to what I call my “multifan syndrome” – which means there’s so much happening in K-pop right now that this comeback fails to leave a strong impression on me. I can’t remember what it sounds like unless I’m actually listening to it. Most of the movements of the choreography blend together in my mind except for the dance break (which is truly a standout moment). And I’ve watched so many K-pop music videos recently that I feel like I’ve literally seen everything at this point. I actually noticed a bejeweled skull prop in “Splash” that I’ve seen in at least three boy group music videos so far this year. So while I think MIRAE’s first comeback is a success for them in many ways, it doesn’t make much of an impact for me personally.
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 bad about my lukewarm reaction to “Splash,” because what I think of it doesn’t really reflect what I think of MIRAE. In my opinion, they’re doing great so far and they have a lot of talent and potential. I just wish “Splash” was a little more memorable and attention grabbing like “Killa” was. But even though I’m pretty ambivalent about this release, I mean it when I say I don’t see any fundamental problems or issues to fix. Plus MIRAE just debuted, so it’s natural for them to take some time to get established and find themselves. I genuinely think a lot of it has to do with timing – if they had dropped this song in a less chaotic month (for K-pop), I feel like I definitely would have taken more notice. In any case, I wish MIRAE all the best and I’ll make sure to keep checking in on future comebacks.
(“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 DSP Media. Featured image is of MIRAE on The Show and can be found on The Show’s Twitter account – original tweet here.