[Review] KEEMBO debut with a forgettable single but …”Thank You, Anyway”

After their ‘official’ disbandment in 2017, SPICA members Kim Boa and Kim Bohyung return as a brand new duo: KEEMBO. It’s hard to tell at this point what type of music they will regularly churn out but for their debut single, “Thank You,Anyway”, they showcase their powerful vocals in the form of a pop ballad.

I’m going to get straight to the point and share my feelings. I don’t love this song. I think it’s an awe-inspiring debut that will probably only be well-received among SPICA ‘faithfuls’. But, let’s talk a little bit why I don’t think it’s a song I’ll be adding to my playlist anytime soon.

Musically, it’s just not very dynamic. It’s boring. The accompanying guitar riff is nice yet the components around make it sound too ’empty’. Even worse, is how it develops in the second verse with a lame, generic trap beat over top. It is a questionable decision, to say the least. I think there is no true direction taken in the production and unfortunately, the result shows it — whether true or not.

More than anything, I think how the choruses are performed in most of the song is what makes this debut fall short. Up until the first chorus, the song is quite fragile. It was developing a decent setting for the listeners to latch onto but it breaks apart once the chorus appears. Boa and Bohyung have pipes! You can’t deny that. I just find that in most of the song, they are forcing it too much. I am not sure why it is necessary to belt at the top of your lungs — kind of out of nowhere — in a song that doesn’t have a large amount of instrumentation. The song is “small”, yet the vocals are absolutely blaring. There is an obvious disconnect which I found to be quite distasteful.

On a positive note, the chorus (and the song in general) finally makes sense in its final appearance. The amazing vocals that KEEMBO display is appropriately supported by a lovely, thick background of lush synths and piano. This is exactly what the song needed! Unfortunately, it’s a bit too late, in my opinion. I could only imagine how much more hard-hitting this final chorus would have been if the choruses before utilized vocal techniques such as head voice and falsetto to better represent the ‘feel’ at those points in time.

Overall, Thank You Anyway” had a lot of potential. I really truly love the ending but I have to judge the song on its almost 4:00 minute length and not its last 40 seconds, no matter how good it may be. Even with all of my negativity spewed all around this review, I am actually still very interested to see where they go from here. While it wasn’t a memorable debut, I hope that their talent brings them around for a much stronger second single.

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I may seem smart, but I am really just an idiot like everyone else.