Golden Child - Genie
It’s been a solid six months since we’d last heard from Golden Child, but it appears that Woollim wanted them to join in on the end of the year rush with another comeback. Since their debut, I’ve had a bit of a back and forth on whether or not they were going to be a group that I avidly kept my eye on in a personal manner. Admittedly I haven’t really been keeping up with them, so I guess they sort of managed to lose my interest. Still, I wanted to crank out another review for them and their latest comeback, and hoped that it might renew my interest in them.
I have to admit, the opening to this song had me turned off almost immediately. Thankfully it dropped off, though, and shifted from what sounded like a generic opening to a cutesy boy group song into a fun, upbeat groove. That isn’t to say that the song wasn’t cutesy, though, as it definitely was. It’s just that it was fused with a bit more edge and energy than typically happens for those concepts. I’d attribute that energy mostly due to the solid vocal performances, though, and not just the bouncy instrumentals. This was a great showing of Golden Child’s abilities and I thought the seamless transitions from singing to rapping and back were executed really well.
If I compare this track to their previous works, it’s much more aligned with what I initially found myself liking about Golden Child. It’s not too serious but not overly cutesy, either. It’s got enough spices from a lot of different concepts and ideas to construct something that has a wide appeal and still manages to be distinct and coherent in its concept and execution. While I don’t think it’s a particularly strong track that will get people hooked, I think it’s certainly going to bring them a good handful of new fans.
Well, the idea of having a factory is one that is definitely not new to K-pop, but it didn’t feel like it was strictly just copying ideas, either. The sets were a little on the plainer side overall, though. I’m unsure of if this was just due to budget constraints or if that was the effect that they wanted, but either way it didn’t come off as cheap to me. Instead it felt like it was aiming for more of a comfy and personable style that would fit in with the rather approachable song playing over it.
I’m sort of iffy on this video overall. On one hand I do think it’s memorable and that I could pick it out of a handful of other music videos in a lineup. On the other, nothing in particular about it was really spectacular. There wasn’t a clever plot, or interesting and new ideas. It was almost strictly a video of fan service. That’s fine in its own right, but I’m not sure that it’s the direction that they needed to go in right now instead of trying to pull more attention to themselves by doing something different.
“Genie” is a fresh take on the tried and true cute concept that boy groups almost inherently have to go through. It differentiates itself in a fun way that’s appealing on the ears while not being too experimental to the point that it becomes a turn off. Though it might not have enough bite to keep you hooked for months and years to come, it hopefully will bring some warranted attention to the group and let them explore more types of music in the future.