KARD - Ride on the wind
KARD is a four-member co-ed group under DSP Media. The group seems to have a lot more popularity outside of Korea, with international fans pouring out their love for them every time they come back. For me personally, my interest and liking of their songs has been on a fairly steady decline since their pre-debut. I enjoyed "Oh NaNa" and "Don't Recall" quite some bit, but past that I began to feel like I was starting to hear rehashes of these tracks with only slight variations. Still, KARD is one of the groups I've always wanted to do a review on, so I simply went in expecting to hear another tropical house flavor from them.
Well the song was about what I expected. There were a few more parts that felt like a blending of some recent trends, namely the instrumental hook, but overall it maintained the same atmosphere that KARD has been going for since they first came onto the scene. If you're a fan of their past tracks and still haven't managed to get sick of the tropical plague, then there's no doubt that this track will work for you.
For those of us that have been feeling it as a stagnating and tiresome trend, this one is just an incredibly uninteresting piece. The chorus really solidifies that this song has almost nothing of note going on - the instrumentals are so predictable and barren in variation that this song ends up coming off as uninspired. Past that, though, it comes off as KARD being unable to actually progress past what they've already established. Similarly to how I felt about GFRIEND last year, it really feels like they're sticking to what they've shown us before and know that fans have already come to accept and love. Instead of moving forward and showing us something new and exciting, we got stuck with a track that ultimately does little more than the bare necessity of an overdone formula.
I will, however, state that I'm pleased with certain areas of KARD in this song. First and foremost, one of my very first critiques of KARD when I first listened to them was that I was kind of disappointed in how one-dimensional they were. To clarify, I was expecting a female rapper and a male rapper, and a female singer and a male singer. When they originally came out with "Oh NaNa," all we got were both females as singers and both males as rappers, and I felt like they could really draw that out a bit more and provide a lot more contrast for their tracks. "Ride on the wind" is their best attempt at doing this to date. Were these raps or vocals top-notch? Not particularly, no, but it was great to see that there was at least some new level of depth to explore, both for fans as well as the group itself.
Much as my opinion was for the song, the video is pretty standard fare stuff, at least when it comes to summer videos. The scenery was gorgeous, though, and I think that the choice to have them all in white against the lush greens developed pretty nicely. The outfit choices themselves, at least for the choreography sections, were a tad boring, in my opinion, but I've no doubt that others enjoyed them. Somin's blue dress was fantastic, and I don't think I could do this review justice without mentioning BM's abs. If you're into that sort of stuff, you've got a great video on your hands here.
Other than that, though, I think there's very little of note. It's mostly just a mix of choreography shots, the group in a car hooting and hollering, or individual members in a few different areas kind of just... being there and singing the song. So let me just take a minute to talk about how I feel like the choreography for a lot of KARD's songs just doesn't work for me. There are so many parts that just look awkward, and I don't mean because of the members. I mean because the choreography itself is just clunky. I really hope they get some slick choreography soon, though. I can envision KARD playing out their strengths (and additionally, hitting up their already popular international fanbase) with a more Latin-flavored track and a dance with tango-like elements, and I think that would be a great direction to see them headed in while the trend is still hot and not played out.
"Ride on the wind" presents KARD's fanbase with another track that follows in the same footsteps as their previous releases, albeit with a bit more of a mellow tone and less of a dance-centric one. I really want to see the group grow into a new direction instead of standing still in the road, but I also don't doubt that this song will work for many fans around the world. If you've liked all of their other tracks, this one is for you. If you've gotten bored with the group not progressing, skip this one.