[Review] PURPLE KISS return to form in dark & delightful “Nerdy”

After lavishing praise on PURPLE KISS for their 2021 debut for securing their place as my favorite rookies of the year, they started 2022 by kicking me the nuts by releasing a generic girl crush track in “memeM“, which was extra disappointing because it didn’t really seem to fit their creative direction.

Thankfully, it seems like they figured something out between then and now, effectively righting the ship and getting back on track with “Nerdy“.

The two songs this reminded me of most were Sunny Hill‘s “Midnight Circus and MAMAMOO’s “HIP, which already gets it off to a great start. “Nerdy” sorta splits the difference, with the pounding, upbeat tempo providing a foundation, and over it is a breathy vocal that has an assured coolness about it without trying too hard. It makes for a nice foot-tapping groove, and when the strings sweep in it really creates a soundscape reminiscent of a … well, a dark circus or something from a playful horror flick. Very much my shit.

While I wouldn’t blame anybody for thinking it borders on monotonous at times despite how well-crafted the verses are, I think “Nerdy” handles the chorus well and breaks out enough from that, dropping out the beat for the lead-in to give the listener a reprieve before launching back into the rapid delivery for the chorus. While there’s no soaring vocal here, there are hooks that even now are continuing to grow on me with the variations of “I’m nerdy“, “na na ni na” sounds, and a drawn-out “cool“, especially with whatever that instrument is they added over the top of it.

Really, all of “Nerdy” just fits nicely together into the intended package and image. Listening to the song, one gets the feeling that it’s all delivered with this confident almost cocky grin or smirk, and the music video reinforces exactly that. It’s fun and a bit idiosyncratic, while also being easy to listen to, and I’m hopeful the response to “Nerdy” is enough that it keeps them on this track for a while longer because PURPLE KISS do it well.

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