iKON release “Apology” and “Anthem”, both improvements on debut

iKONApology

iKON are back again with like their 500th music video in the last month to troll WINNER fans in the most epic way possible. This time they’ve released “Apology” and “Anthem“, both of which are miles better than their previous releases, but whether that’s good enough is up for debate.

“Apology” should’ve been their debut track, as it’s a quality execution of the soft-singing ballad type of rap track. There were more soulful vocals and less B.I sing-rapping awkwardly, which made all the difference in the world here. I’m still not convinced the group’s vocals trying to push their range higher is a good idea ever, as that’s the area where the song gets a bit “yikes”. But when they stay in their range, the song is sails along smoothly.

The same goes for Bobby in terms of trying to do too much, as I’ve said forever now needs to control that growl in his rap better. It’s a decent identifier at first, but listening to that shit all the time is annoying as hell, especially if the rapping that goes with it is really nothing special. The first verse was typical of Bobby, which definitely isn’t a compliment, but when the second verse rolls around he ditches the constant growls for a simple rough tone and does some of the best rapping I’ve ever heard out of him.

“Apology” is easily iKON’s best effort to date.

“iKONNNNN is coming to town” is how “Anthem” starts, and you don’t know whether that’s a threat to ruin your eardrums or a brag.

The upside? The instrumental is amazing and can easily make the song enjoyable in itself. It certainly fits the anthem title brag and could make the song for many by itself. The downside? I still don’t understand why people love B.I’s rapping at all, and Bobby went back to his growling that tries way too hard and tends to interrupt his flow into a mish-mash of random noises.

These things wouldn’t be nearly as big of an issue if the whole song wasn’t a rap showcase, but since like 75% of the song is those two rapping, it’s hard not to feel like this amazing beat was sort of wasted.

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In retrospect, thank god iKON has had so many attempts to drop something quality, as these two efforts were much better than their mess of a debut. “Apology” was my favorite release of theirs so far and should do well, and while technically flawed I can see how people (stans) could ignore the sub-par rapping performances in “Anthem” and just appreciate the legitimately amazing beat.

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