With a pre-debut member controversy and then an “Athletic Girl” debut that was cringe enough to even put off a veteran cringe-tolerater like me, things didn’t start out great for H1-KEY around these parts. Well, now that controversial member is gone and has been replaced, and LE SSERAFIM jacked their entire concept, but it looks like they did them a favor as H1-KEY has returned with the much more interesting “RUN“.
While H1-KEY sorta jump from one trend to another here with this pop-rock track, it’s also a trend that happens to fit my preferences and I’m just basking in the glory of its return. “RUN” is basically distilled California summer energy, which makes for an uplifting atmosphere and the members are allowed to stretch their legs a bit with spirited deliveries over a capable beat.
Perhaps the biggest critique of “RUN” is that it feels a bit sterilized, kinda just chugging along on a linear path that you expect, also the pre-chorus is a bit whiny in the latter sections. However, the most important part for a song like this ends up delivering, as the chorus comes in with a touch of electric guitar and a bouncy melody that cleverly uses the “take off” and “run off” segments as a point of emphasis before segueing into an almost chant-like portion that serves the song well by adding another memorable layer.
Additionally, I love love love the new intro of “H1-KEY, bet you gon’ like me“, and hope they’re given the consistent music to match to make it relevant.
It’s hard to predict where the future will take (no offense) nugu groups like this with an unexperienced idol company that has already gone through early turmoil, as sometimes they frequently don’t end up keeping and developing a consistent sound. But if H1-KEY had to choose a path, “RUN” is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for them and I think this comeback has at least showed the kind of potential they have.