In a year flush with debuts, Everglow’s “Bon Bon Chocolat“ stood out thanks to its edgy sound. I wasn’t as enthralled with the song as others seem to be, but I’m always eager for more girl groups who push against the grain. New single “Adios” continues this approach, borrowing from BLACKPINK’s repertoire to craft what feels like a sonic sequel to “Kill This Love.” In doing so, “Adios” builds upon both the best and worst elements of its genre. It’s a striking follow-up for the group, but one that will likely polarize opinion.
Though I compare the song to BLACKPINK, “Adios” actually reminds me more of Stray Kids’ “Side Effects.” It’s not nearly as polished or interesting, but the track has a similarly instrumental-heavy structure. “Side Effects” managed to flawlessly tie its disparate moments together, but “Adios” feels more piecemeal. To borrow an old K-pop adage, it truly comes across as several different songs stitched together. Of these pieces, I’m not a huge fan of the hard-hitting trap rap that opens the track and continues throughout the second verse. These segments sacrifice hookiness for posturing, underlined by an irritating whistle that doesn’t do anything to set the song apart. This sense of monotony continues into the pre-chorus, which throws a forgettable melody over a stereotypical EDM build.
After an extended bout of whispered refrains, “Adios” explodes into its central instrumental drop. While this production has nothing on the intense psytrance of “Side Effects,” its brassy blast feels like the hook that “Kill This Love” was aiming for. There’s nothing remotely original about it, but the unabashed bombast is welcome. I like the girls’ militaristic chant as well, even if it’s not particularly melodic. Thankfully, the song ends on a high as additional brass is brought in for a sucker punch of a climax. I may still not be completely sold on Everglow’s discography, but I appreciate the energy.
iATFB: I asked on Twitter whether Teddy produced this because it had all the same hallmarks of something he’d make for BLACKPINK. Apparently I was far from the only one to notice this, though it’s put together slightly more cohesively.