(NOTE: This post is slightly shorter than normal due to lack of time and personal circumstances.) We’re already halfway through September, but I’ve FINALLY caught up enough to start reacting to this month’s releases. First up is “Talk & Talk,” fromis_9’s first comeback after their surprise move to Pledis Entertainment. To be honest, I was a little nervous about this transition since Pledis doesn’t really have the best track record with girl groups. (After School was already pretty inactive by the time I became a K-pop fan, but I’m still quite bitter about what happened to Pristin.) But thankfully, things seem to be running pretty smoothly so far.
“Talk & Talk” is a cutesy and upbeat track about the exciting experience of a new crush or romance: feelings of butterflies, bubbly happiness and joy, and the urge to talk with your new love interest all the time. It’s got a catchy and memorable chorus that easily shows off fromis_9’s lovable charm (same with the bouncy and bright choreography), and a slightly retro feel that fits their signature sound well. But while I think it’s sweet and fun, it’s ultimately not really for me. We all know I’m not that into cute concepts, and I’m quickly approaching my limit on retro stuff as well. Plus when it comes to fromis_9 specifically, I prefer their more out-there music like “Love Bomb” and “Fun.” That being said, I acknowledge this song has a lot of replay value – and the potential to win me over with repeat listens.
While I’m a little ambivalent about “Talk & Talk” as a song, the music video really brings that quirky and unique energy I’ve come to expect from fromis_9. Boasting a beautifully bold color palette, it depicts the members as residents of an apartment building with their own distinct aesthetics and personalities. They’re constantly shown talking on old-school landline phones, which reminds me a little of “The Telephone Hour” from Bye Bye Birdie. Though it seems like the girls are speaking with a love interest rather than gossiping with each other like in the musical, it has the same humorous concept of being glued to the phone no matter what you’re doing – cooking, exercising, even getting your hair done. I think fromis_9 has some of the most creative music videos, and I’m glad to see this one is just as entertaining as their other ones.
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 “Talk & Talk” is a solid comeback for fromis_9, and it’s certainly a lot of fun. But it’s not one that I feel like I really connect to, which is why I marked my interest in the song as “neutral.” And given all of the new comebacks that I’m still catching up with, I don’t see myself listening to it a ton going forward. (My “multifan syndrome” is at it again.) That being said, I’m absolutely thrilled that “Talk & Talk” earned fromis_9 their first music show win last week – it’s well-deserved and long overdue. And although it’s not my favorite comeback of theirs, it’s still a perfect showcase for their talent, potential, and charm. I sincerely hope this win is just the start of great things for them, because they really do have so much to offer.
(“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 Pledis Entertainment. Music video distributed by HYBE Labels.