Kriesha Chu makes endearing debut with “Trouble” behind quality production

Last week’s Spotlight by Kim Sohee marked the first post-series release by a ‘K-Pop Star 6‘ alumni. Hot on its heels is Kriesha Chu’s “Trouble“. Though the two were placed in the same group for the season’s last few episodes, they’re taking an opposite approach now that the show’s over. Kim Sohee will be performing as part of the soon-to-debut girl group ELRIS, while Kriesha is setting out as a solo artist. From what we’ve seen so far, I think both girls would be better served if they switched roles. Kriesha’s cheerful pop style is perfect for a group, while Kim Sohee’s more sophisticated performance could easily turn her into the next BoA.

Thankfully, Chu has been paired with a fantastic songwriting team in the form of Good Life. This duo is composed of Highlight’s Junhyung and Kim Tae Joo, and “Trouble” marks the first time they’ve composed for a female soloist. Their music often has a gritty pop tone, but “Trouble” paints itself as a full-on, glossy radio hit. Opening with a resounding brass riff, the song launches into a funky verse that melds hip-hop sensibilities with Chu’s light voice. The propulsive girl power sound is reminiscent to Girl’s Day’s latest release, but the songwriting and production feel more seamless here.

The chorus doesn’t reinvent the wheel — borrowing much from Ailee‘s uptempo work — but it surges in all the right places. And although Chu doesn’t have a particularly unique tone or performance style, the lively instrumental masks any moments that might drag or feel overly derivative. There’s a tremendously fun breakdown during the song’s middle eight, hinting at an even funkier side to her music. “Trouble” may not be an incredibly memorable debut, but it’s definitely an endearing one.

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