The primary reason I fell in love with Dreamcatcher was that their music meshed extremely well with my preferences. Sure, things escalated from there but it always comes back to the music in the end, and “Breaking Out” was one of the few times I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy one of their singles.
Their first original Japanese single had an ominous start, as the first 49 seconds of “Breaking Out” was above-average but generic trop house girl group. Fortunately, the chorus alleviated much of my issues up until that point. In retrospect, the verses lull the listener into a trance before exploding thanks to guitar riffs and percussion, with the EDM dropping out entirely. A subtle thing I enjoyed was the rhythm of the delivery in the refrain that was used as its own instrument of sorts. It’s a typically energetic and melodic Dreamcatcher hook for something with a lot going on, and it’s one of their traits that consistently helps them avoid duds.
So at the end of the day, Dreamcatcher managed to pull this off and provide another good release, though by their standards it’s likely among their bottom-tier efforts. The push-pull of the generic trop house and the harder rock elements is a nice idea, but at its core the verses are still just … there, and one of the group’s strengths has always been making the entire song feel worthwhile. It’s a bit disappointing in that way, but grading on the curve that is K-pop in 2019, this could go down as a standout for another group.
TheBiasList had similar thoughts on the release, which is helpful to know I haven’t faded into deranged stanhood.