Monday, December 3rd, 2018

fromis_9 – Love Bomb

Eugene asks us to consider these Idol School alums…


Jessica Doyle: Ten seconds into the live stage and I’m throwing my hands up in frustration, because this would have been such a fantastic choice as Pristin’s third single — it’s unexpected and propulsive without confounding expectations for a melody the way “We Like” did. (I actually liked “We Like,” but I know that’s very much a minority opinion.) My apologies, fromis_9. It’s not you guys. In fact I hope your company figures out how to keep commissioning songs like this one. No reason why y’all’s fans should have to wait in disappointment too.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: While the Lovelyz-esque “DKDK” and its cozy Shinji Sōmai-looking music video were more my speed, “Love Bomb” confirms that fromis_9 are well-equipped for handling several different musical styles. The core of this song’s success is how it lets on that it’s relentlessly chipper while many of its musical elements are actually far warmer than most attempts at breakneck-speed K-pop. The jittery vocal sample, the colorful synth arpeggios, the drum fill that ushers in the chorus — they’re all offset by the stately vocal melodies and harmonies that characterize the non-rapping moments. In doing so, “Love Bomb” presents the oft-ignored reality of being in love: how self-assured maturity can coexist with giddy, near-hysterical infatuation.

Alfred Soto: Once they get past the electro-stutter, fromis_9 get down to the business of showing how the average zero-to-ninety K-pop track has no interest in using the mid range to prepare listeners for the rush. 

Maxwell Cavaseno: I wish a lot more pop songs were vain enough to blatantly drop a chorus so determined to buckle down and sonic boom blast into your ears it’s like you got shot with a gun full of sugar-injecting rattlesnakes. Fortunately, David Amber and fromis_9 got you covered here on “Love Bomb” a record that’s less interesting based on the parts and elements used than it is nakedly eager to hit the ground running. (Though the spacy half-step bridge deserves some praise, the lazy construction of the rap section… not so much.) Also, bless the heart of whomever took it upon themselves to spin the nervous terror eagerness of the “lol my cellphone’s about to BLOW UP with your affection! lol!” from Twice’s “Cheer Up” and make a whole song with that much hysteria as bliss. More Bomb Heart Metaphors In The Future People.

Edward Okulicz: Wub-wub-wub-wub-wub, Marshmello would be proud and maybe a little frightened of that introduction. “Love Bomb” isn’t all hyperactivity (the verses are sugary but relatively sedate) but hyperactivity is what it does best. Doesn’t so much launch itself into space as warp at light-speed and destroy every asteroid in its path, but it’s hard to imagine a song that better fits the title’s promise of a musical weapon of mass destruction.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: This song is a triumph of balance. One common yet very effective template in K-pop today is that of “cutesy aegyo girl-group cooing on top of boisterous, super complex track with exuberant strings and lots more going on at the same time.” We see some of those every month, but that precisely makes it so hard for any of them to stand out. Fortunately, this group can exert some control amidst all that chaos, offering a tune that is frenetic and bright, but without coming off as overcooked, overpowering, or simply annoying.

Nortey Dowuona: The ticking, flat percussion opens the song, then is stomped down by popping, grating synths and banal drums, before erupting in a rattling hiss within the looming, bulbous bass. fromis_9 surf the wave, never leaping when welded flat trap bass is slid in underneath and then the song wheels up again, leaving them adrift, where they paddle back to the wave and are swept onshore in a flash.

John Seroff: Single-minded, Skittles-hued freneticism that admirably walks the line between overcute and tachycardia to present surprisingly chill thrills for 154 BPM. Docked a point for the high-pitched chuckling novelty electronics that start the track and recur throughout; too much buttercream for my taste.

Tobi Tella: If a sugar rush could be translated to music, that is what this would sound like. It jumps right out of the gate and boasts a super catchy chorus, but I remember checking in around what I thought was the end, and it was only the two-minute mark. I was exhausted by the end — a song I could probably take in small doses, but makes me glad I don’t live in South Korea and hear it on the radio 24/7.

Reader average: [7.57] (7 votes)

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4 Responses to “fromis_9 – Love Bomb”

  1. lol sorry for breaking the consensus on this one

  2. its ok bruh

  3. @Jessica solidarity wrt We Like being an absolute banger

  4. sorry for not showing up but me? a [9]

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