[Review] ENOi’s “Cheeky” turns out to be pleasant surprise

Boy group ENOi debuted last spring with the deep house track Bloom. I didn’t get a chance to review the song, but thought it was a decent – if super generic – offering. Like I always say, being a rookie is all about standing out and crafting a style all your own. Bloom did neither of those things, no matter its quality. So, does its follow-up get the job done?

Cheeky (발칙하게) is a nice little surprise, and makes me reconsider ENOi’s potential. It sidesteps most of today’s musical trends for something more unique. The funky guitar riff that opens the track is a real treat, anchoring the instrumental for half a minute before the beat drops. And when we get percussion, it’s a powerful kick with plenty of snare. These are not groundbreaking elements to pop song production, but we just don’t hear them that often anymore. Cheeky resists the urge to contort itself into moody breakdowns or tempo-shifting diversions. Even when the instrumental warps during the song’s bridge, Cheeky retains its percussive momentum. This energy reminds me of Seventeen’s Adore U. ENOi would be wise to make it their calling card.

Cheeky’s melody isn’t quite as impressive. It never finds that one magic hook that would make the song stand out. The production does the heavy lifting, giving the track’s decent chorus plenty of heft. Thankfully, the entire structure is so light on its feet and consistently fun that the lack of a killer melody isn’t too much of a worry. The arrangement feels in constant build, pulsing toward a satisfying climax that hints at better things to come from the group in the future.

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IATFB says: I actually spent more time than I should’ve trying to make sense of my feelings on this song. I like the production and the chorus is catchy enough, so ostensibly it’s a good pop song. It’s just I feel no desire to listen to it again.

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