Since their debut in 2020, PURPLE KISS have slowly built up one of my favorite girl group discographies, rarely misfiring while being led by standouts singles like “Zombie” and their previous one in “Sweet Juice”. Their wheelhouse has generally been darker-themed concepts with less overtly trendy sounds, but with “7HEAVEN” they try for a classic (and/or generic) summer anthem, and surprisingly make it work despite going firmly against type.
“7HEAVEN” hits you with the title and the hook right out of the gate, with dreamy, scale-escalating repetition of “twenty-four, seven seven seven, dulmanui, heaven heaven heaven heaven“, immediately providing a melodic centerpiece for the song. It also reminded me of BTS’s “Boy With Luv”, which was one of my favorites in this mode from 2019. Of course, my immediate concern — perhaps due to being traumatized by listening to too many K-pop tracks — was that they’d just let that hook linger as the chorus and leave the rest of the work to some kind of drop. Fortunately, PURPLE KISS did what they do best, filling out the rest of the chorus with vocals set to a head-bopping rhythm, and effectively capturing the breezy, bouncy summer anthem vibe*.
*This is almost comically late timing for a summer anthem, as we’re now a week into September, but hey, maybe that’s just a statement about how the heat of summer is going to linger longer nowadays as we all boil. Thank you, environmental awareness queens!
The rest of the song does a great job of keeping the groove and momentum humming along, providing a stage for their usual capable vocals to elevate things, and pairing well with the rhythm guitar and foot-tapping bass hits. The transition into the rap verse coming out of the first chorus was particularly unique and makes things appear seamless, with Yuki doing her part by staying on beat and being easily recognizable, the two main things idol rappers need. “7HEAVEN” even has a slowed down vocal bridge with a vocal peak that slowly bubbles up to put the emphasis back on the chorus (eventually, after a dance break that at least had some electronic squiggles).
While it’d be easy to lament that the resulting tune isn’t the most novel thing, it doesn’t bother me much either. As I’ve said ad nauseum, finding even somewhat unique angles is more of a rare bonus in K-pop (and pop music, in general), and thus it’s often the execution of well-worn territory that matters, and PURPLE KISS achieve that across the board here.
As I say that, my immediate concern with “7HEAVEN” isn’t even about “7HEAVEN”, but rather whether they’re going to abandon their darker-toned concepts and sounds that helped them standout to begin with. K-pop doesn’t frequently take that direction, and they always pulled it off well. So I certainly hope they don’t give up on it, even if a single album is as good a time as experiment a bit and showcase variety. And regardless of what the future holds for them, at least “7HEAVEN” itself is the summer earworm it sets out to be.
Note: Fortunately, it only sounds a bit muted/mixed weird on YouTube. I enjoyed that aspect of it more on Spotify.