Sechs Kies’ “Sad Song” has quality moments but plays it too safe in the end

Despite its downbeat title, “Sad Song” is actually the more uptempo offering from Sechs Kies‘ ‘The 20th Anniversary‘ comeback. Calling it a dance track might be a bit misleading, as it retains the moodiness of its counterpart Be Well, but its persistent electro beat gives the song a stylish drive that raises the energy to a higher level.

For a group who burst out of the gate in the late 90s with rambunctious material like School Byeolgok and The Way This Guy Lives, it’s nice to hear a bit of intensity from them again, even if it’s tightly controlled by the lockstep structure of “Sad Song”. The song’s sleek production feels well-suited to Sechs Kies’ stature as a first generation group, and allows for a nice spotlight on their refined vocals. At the same time, the instrumental feels like it’s missing that little bit of oomph that would transform it into something really special. The second verse rap segment provides a nice break in the otherwise straightforward arrangement, though I wish the energy of the instrumental didn’t drop out so completely.

The climactic refrain of “Sad Song” is more effective, as it threatens to turn into a real anthem around the three-minute mark. Unfortunately, this moment is too fleeting to add up to much. The track would have benefited from a more robust, extended finale that would have sent the melody out on a high note. Ultimately, “Sad Song” is a pleasant pop track that plays it safe. That’s totally fine, but it could’ve been a real moment.


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