Dreamcatcher are calling ‘Raid Of Dream‘ a special mini, likely due to the ‘King’s Raid‘ mobile game tie-in, but the teasers for “Deja Vu” also seemed to indicate they would use it to experiment a bit with the path forward for the group and they did exactly that.
“Deja Vu” is probably one of their most subdued beginnings, though they’ve gone the piano route before with “Full Moon” to outstanding results. “Deja Vu” is similar, using it to create and emphasize the contrast of sounds that’s to come. The piano is just the launching pad before percussion enters the fray, but unlike their other offerings the verses remain rather bare bones throughout, almost fronting as a ballad initially.
There’s nothing wrong with that in itself, the payoff just has to be worth it. And the pre-chorus hints at what’s to come as beautiful orchestral strings are added and the instrumental swells in earnest. “Deja Vu” is then punctuated by one of their hardest backings for the chorus, drawing a lot more from the metal side of things than they have in a while while still remaining appealingly melodic. My biggest concern was what the choral refrain would sound like, as I had worries that it would be a “deja vu” hook just repeated over and over for the duration like the teaser, thankfully the end result is a lot more fleshed out than that. While the “deja vu” repetition is there, it exists mainly as something to embed into the ear instead of the main course. In execution a fleshed-out lyrical section follows behind it that Siyeon absolutely destroys and it especially stood out how just when the listener thinks the chorus might end, the song simply continues to build and build with it, reminding me a lot of GFRIEND‘s “Memoria” in that structure.
So combining orchestral elements with metal and pop already checked off all the boxes, but a nice surprise was that “Deja Vu” continued to up the ante musically almost until the end, bringing in a hell of a guitar riff that signals the tempo uptick that continues at a breakneck pace until it drops back out to vocals, ending as it began. In fact, that transition from the soft and gentle directly into headbanging was probably my favorite part of the song, mainly because it took the song to a new level that was unexpected.
In “Deja Vu”, Dreamcatcher have delivered another standout track, perhaps save for people who don’t like rock at all cause they think everything with guitars sound the same or whatever shit. It’s both gentle and violent, serving a wide array of musical tastes while remaining cohesive and always providing something that sounds right.
Probably going to need more time to digest exactly where this song ends up among my favorites, especially since I liked “Piri” initially and it’s only continued to grow on me since. “Deja Vu” has similar instant appeal and I feel like the replay value should hold up, especially due to the strength of the chorus and how it never seems to settle into a rut. Basically, if “Deja Vu” is a step into a new direction in terms of sound and concept, then it’s certainly about as promising of a path as anybody could expect.
TheBiasList enjoyed the contrast in the song, and though it wasn’t his favorite chorus, it received high marks.