[Review] Chungha’s “Killing Me” is welcome surge of impassioned pop

After releasing a mammoth 21 track album in February, Chungha has been pretty quiet. But, she’s back to close out the year with digital single “Killing Me“. After such a long hiatus, this is nice treat that falls in line with the “Savage,” club-ready segment of ‘Querencia.’

It’s this style of song that seems so ripe for global breakthrough. Chungha could easily take a Dua Lipa approach and go full-on future nostalgic, with her skills as a dancer adding extra K-pop edge. “Killing Me” is slightly more generic than that, but utilizes today’s trends to its advantage. The bounding electro beat could do with a more singular vision. However, it casts great energy that powers the track with plenty of momentum. I’m more smitten with the synth in the chorus. The production has nice texture here, adding weight to a song that could have felt slight.

As always, Chungha makes a compelling protagonist. She’s really settled into her vocal style, and sounds fantastic on “Killing Me”. She brings plenty of emotion to the hook, matching the urgency of the synths. In the realm of recent Chungha dance tracks, I’d put “Stay Tonight” and “Dream Of You” comfortably ahead, but “Killing Me” makes a satisfying peer. Give it a more effusive climax (and a stronger instrumental outro) and you’ve got the makings of a discography highlight. Even so, the song is a welcome surge of impassioned pop just as the industry is starting to slow down for the season.

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