tripleS “debuted” as a quartet with sub-unit Acid Angel Of Asia and “Generation“, and despite what is quite frankly a confusing group concept, they at least provided quality music. Now they’ve gathered 10 members to debut as just tripleS with the single “Rising” off their ASSEMBLE album. The song was apparently the choice of fans via vote, which makes things even more esoteric, but while I’m not sure I even want to know the details of all that, at the very least they’ve continued to deliver outstanding aural experiences to go with the confusion.
The obvious influence on “Generation” was NewJeans, and while “Rising” still has that feel (especially conceptually), it borrows a bit from LOONA as well. The simple, bouncy beat in the verses is easy to get sucked into, and the rhythmic delivery of the lyrics provides a highlight in itself, talking about the members chasing their dreams and how giving it their all is a virtue in itself despite cynics like myself probably citing odds to them and what not. It’s sleek and stylish, and features a competent and charismatic performance from the group, both vocally and rapping, even if none of the members really stand out as of yet.
Much like NewJeans’ best work, “Rising” manages to score memorable moments without a blowout of a pop chorus, thanks in large part to the “la la la la lahhh” parts lurking in the background, the rapid “not just a dream, but a real deja vu, becoming confident, hardship makes it true, just the way I saw myself in my dream, deja vu, after the pain, make it move” hook of the chorus that becomes more and more of an earworm on repeat listens, and the post-chorus really highlights the depth of the production (the scratch fits perfectly). My primary complaint is a common one in modern songs, as it felt like “Rising” deserved/needed a bridge and/or a final flourish from the chorus to close things out, and the fact that this is another barely two-and-a-half minute song feeds into a depressing trend. Still, it’s a relentless foot-tapper that’s hard to shake, and hitting replay was almost a given.
Honestly though, I’m still skeptical of the “decentralized” concept and their NFT connections that they seem to slowly be distancing themselves from as that branding becomes a PR disaster. I also wonder about the wisdom of letting fans decide shit and whether that factor will hinder them at some point in terms of concepts and musicality. That said, it’s so far so good, as everything they’ve done till now has been trendy, melodic, and addicting, with “Rising” certainly helping to place them among K-pop most notable and memorable rookies.