[Review] BVNDIT debut with familiar, workmanlike “Hocus Pocus”

BVNDIT’s debut album is titled ‘BVNDIT, Be Ambitious,’ yet it’s anchored by a title track so generic and workmanlike that it becomes difficult to recall once it’s over. There’s a special level of irony in that.

2019 has already been a year flush with rookies, making it difficult for yet-to-debut groups to stand out. BVNDIT hail from MNH Entertainment, home to super-successful soloist Chungha. “Hocus Pocus” actually sounds a bit like a Chungha b-side, though her unique vocal tone would have brought more individuality to the track. The song leaves little room for BVNDIT to showcase what makes them a necessary addition to an already overcrowded marketplace.

The instrumental of “Hocus Pocus” regurgitates many of the tropical bleeps and bloops we’ve heard continuously over the past few years. It maintains a mid-tempo pace throughout, failing to build to any moments of increased interest. Nothing about the track is objectively bad, but I kind of wish it was. At this point, I’d prefer an ambitious swing and miss over a shoulder shrug of a song. “Hocus Pocus” never resorts to the dreaded instrumental-drop-as-chorus trend, but it might as well have. Its chorus is ho-hum, offering a dull melody that could have easily stretched itself in more interesting ways.

The one bright spot in the song’s uninspiring arrangement is the inclusion of sitar as an instrumental touch. I wish the producers would have built the entire track around this underutilized sound, as that would’ve given “Hocus Pocus” and the girls the ambitious touch their album title promises.

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