Honestly, I was concerned about Pink Fantasy for a while. After making their debut back in 2018, they transitioned to a darker horror type concept in mid-2019 with “Fantasy” that reminded me somewhat of Dreamcatcher. Much to my disappointment, they seemed to abandon that and thus kinda fell off my radar for a bit. Well, they’re back with an album called Alice In Wonderland and are again exploring the rock side of things with “Poison“, which not only takes them down the heavier path but is probably among the heaviest I’ve heard in K-pop yet.
The Dreamcatcher comparisons are inevitable and valid, from the concept to the heavy rock edge to the ballerina music box opening like “Good Night“ to some familiar choreography to rhythms from the verses sounding like “Piri“, the template is not all that subtle.
But hey, if you could choose a group to build from then I’m glad somebody choose Dreamcatcher. And I like how Pink Fantasy make their intentions clear from the start with the aggressive drum bursts and electric guitar riffs, as it establishes that they’re going to have heavy elements for a pop group that helps set them apart. The verses contain some rockiness and more rawness than what you’d expect, but the members carry it well, and by the time the melodic guitar riffs enter, the switch to poppier vocals feels refreshing and it sufficiently builds tension.
The conclusion for that escalation is a propulsive and addictive chorus that serves as a great payoff, fusing the pop and metal aspects of things surprisingly well. It was a bit like the chorus of “Fly High“ except without the same kind of vocal peaks during the soaring moments, and they should’ve been more ambitious here since Pink Fantasy later prove they’re capable. However, they compensated for not having that by including an outstanding post-chorus breakdown along with screaming vocals usually reserved for metal. A surprise and a welcome one.
Really, Pink Fantasy showcase some of the heaviest stuff I’ve heard in K-pop while also highlighting very melodic and surprisingly gentle moments like the chorus, and the striking, vocal-heavy bridge provides the peak I was hoping to get more frequently from the chorus. “Poison” could’ve easily fallen into good but not great territory if they went a bit safer with the pop elements, but they use the ending of the bridge as an absolute launching pad of a run and then built on that momentum to close the song with an exclamation point.
Aside from some minor quibbles, “Poison” compares favorably to Dreamcatcher’s musical efforts, and if you’re familiar with my enjoyment of their discography, the praise doesn’t get much higher than that. This deserves to be their breakout moment and I hope they get the support for this release it deserves. Quite frankly, my main concern after hearing this release do not revolve around Pink Fantasy, but rather MyDoll Entertainment and whether they’ll stick with this direction and give them enough time to establish themselves, because this music certainly warrants support.