KISS OF LIFE certainly know how to grab one’s attention, as starting with the rollout of four solo tracks as pre-releases, their company certainly made a statement of their ambitions. The group’s debut with “Shhh“ showcased their potential and featured a solid rhythm, but the track wasn’t better than those in the build-up to it. Well, now they’re back with “Bad News“, a stomping and anthemic pop track with some country and blues roots.
KISS OF LIFE mostly run contrary to many K-pop groups, at least in that the members themselves carry their releases. It’s not only the vocal dynamism or the flow of the rap verses, but they bring the requisite charisma and assured confidence that is necessary to successfully pull off concepts like this. Of course, the talent does matter and making K-pop rap verses fun is an accomplishment, while the big notes in particular are not only necessary to “Bad News” but are basically what make the song relevant. As a unit, they’re just all very impressive and cohesive, bringing a star quality draw even outside of visuals that is pretty uncommon.
So the members certainly put in their work, but I just wish the rest of the team backed them up a bit. The genre choice was inspired, filling a vacant hole in the K-pop scene, but it’s like they got the country/blues vibe to it down and were content to let the quartet do the rest. It’s frustrating because it has so much potential, yet the chorus is excessively passive and the production has an emptiness to it. On repeat listens it becomes clear just how much the instrumental bogs things down despite the best efforts of the girls.
Anyway, I still enjoyed “Bad News” and think it would be a lot of fun to watch at a concert or something, but I just wish it had a second gear that wasn’t the members themselves desperately trying to will this to the anthem it should’ve been. Still, it’s been an impressive start for KISS OF LIFE, and dare I say they make the bad-ass girl group concept look feasible instead of just blatant cosplay. Certainly looking forward to what we might get from them in the future.