BLACK6IX - Like a Flower
BLACK6IX is a six-member boy group that debuted earlier in the year with a digital single called "Please." Coming from a smaller, essentially unknown company, the group didn't seem to receive much attention from the general public. "Like a Flower" is the group's first time having a comeback and will hopefully draw some of the spotlight onto them.
The song wastes absolutely no time setting up, instead slamming a hint of the chorus onto its audience right from the first beat. A duo of rap and soft singing start the verse before it shifts to a deep voice that starkly contrasts the vocal tone from just moments before. The transition from verse to pre-chorus is seamless, slowing the song down just a tad to weave in some high notes before the refrain. The very first chorus is followed by a sudden harsh sound with sirens wailing and the occasional electrowub backing up a forceful rap verse that provides another tonal deviation from the fun and comfortable chorus.
The song is a fairly large departure from their first single, but in a good way. It manages to retain a sound that is fairly unique among currently trending music in Korea, while branching away enough from their debut's style to provide evidence that BLACK6IX can diversify themselves. There is an array of differences that keep the song from becoming repetitive, from instrumental crescendos and the pace-changing empty space in the pre-choruses, to even just the nature of the pitch of their voices. Nearly everything in this song that isn't the chorus keeps the interest of the listener by providing something new, and that's something that can be appreciated even by those that don't like the song.
The music video is where I would say that there is a clear distinction of lacking. Sadly, this is likely going to be something that strictly comes down to budgeting issues. As I mentioned earlier, Black Hole Entertainment is not a name people will widely recognize, and they don't have near-infinite funds to draw from when it comes to production values. It sucks that it has to be the music video that takes the brunt of the damage because of that issue, but it's better that than the song itself.
There are essentially two main settings for the music video: a parking garage and a forest. Shots from indoors that display the choreography for the song, and outdoor scenes to provide breaks to more theatrical and dramatic shots for each member. There are a few interesting shots in the video (such as the starry night sky behind a broken fake wall), but they're so few and far between that it fails to provide a break to the rather monotonous portions. Smoke machines are in full effect for a lot of shots and I personally feel like it looked and felt a bit cheesy. Most of the video is comprised of the choreography, which is something I always enjoy seeing, so that is something positive.
Overall, I really enjoyed "Like a Flower" as a song and I think there's something about BLACK6IX that has me reminiscing over older K-pop music. Both of their songs have something that I can't exactly pinpoint, but I can't help but feel is fading out from K-pop lately. Regardless of this nostalgic take on them, I think that newer listeners of the genre can also enjoy their music and appreciate that they're providing something different than the current norm. I personally hope that BLACK6IX gets more attention with this comeback so that they can continue to bang out some more interesting songs for us.