[Review] Fromis 9 make a satisfying debut under Pledis with “Talk Talk”

No matter the agency, fromis_9 return again and again with strong material. Their rocky journey has now brought them to the doorstep of Pledis Entertainment, who will be managing their career from now on. Pledis’s recent history with girl groups is far from strong, making many fans nervous about fromis_9’s future. But for now, new single Talk & Talk is a promising step.

This track brings together a number of well-known producers (Ryan Jhun, Andreas Carlsson, Anna Timgren, etc), though none have composed a fromis_9 title track thus far. Luckily, they nail the group’s bright, poppy sound. Talk & Talk takes me back a decade or so, when Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream was ruling airwaves. The track bounds along a similarly bright beat, anchored by a catchy vocal refrain. Taken alone, these elements could wear thin quickly, but Talk & Talk makes a few unexpected moves.

On first listen, I was sure the song would rely heavily on that aforementioned “doo doo doo” hook, but the actual chorus turns out to be quite different. It has a laidback energy, tied to an ascending melody that keeps things brisk and compelling. I much prefer this breathy sound to Talk & Talk’s more obvious chants. However, the two extremes work quite well together. This synergy continues through the verses, which strike a nice balance between cute and frothy. A second verse switch-up is especially welcome, as melody gives way to rap while the instrumental continues to chug along. Talk & Talk won’t set the K-pop world on fire, but it’s another satisfying example of fromis_9 doing what they do best.

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