Akdong Musician successfully branch out on surprising “Dinosaur”

Thinking back to when Akdong Musician were just an awkward pair of siblings competing on the second season of ‘K-Pop Star‘, it’s hard to believe they’ve managed to become such a force within the K-pop industry. Their quirky talent shone from the beginning, but with each new comeback it’s becoming clear that their sound doesn’t need to be strictly confined to what we would consider “acoustic” or “indie.” New single “Dinosaur” is the strongest representation of that versatility yet.

For the first time, Akdong Musician are tackling EDM. The potential for disaster was definitely there, but Chanhyuk has proven once again that the strength of his composition knows no bounds. If anything, the infusion of a new genre has kept their music sounding more fresh than ever. The opening moments of “Dinosaur” are ushered in with the expected strum of acoustic guitar, which is quickly joined by a blippy arpeggio of electronics as the atmospheric verse builds bigger and bigger. The instrumental pulls in some ultra trendy elements, but never strays too far from the off-kilter AKMU we’re used to hearing. It’s easy to imagine “Dinosaur” rearranged as a more traditional folk track, though it would be nowhere near as impactful.

Rather than utilize a complex chorus, “Dinosaur” relies on Suhyun’s dulcet falsetto. Essentially, she recreates what would usually be a synth-driven instrumental hook with her voice, and it’s a trick that works very well. More than that, it feels perfectly suited to AKMU’s unique sound. Thankfully, there’s a bit more meat on the chorus than just that one vocal riff, as Chanhyuk joins in for a rousing refrain that gives the song an unexpected anthemic quality. It’s an exciting new direction for the duo, and hopefully the first of many sonic excursions in the future.

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