Tuesday, December 11, 2012

[#32] VIXX - "Starlight"

From: "Super Hero"
Format: Single
Released: May
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Appearances: First Appearance

With the truckloads and truckloads of rookies this year, it's been really hard to keep up with all of them, and I admit to kind of giving up halfway through the year and just choosing the rookies I'd chance upon. And it's a good thing I found VIXX.

VIXX are probably my favorite underrated rookie boy band this year, mainly because their debut single reminded me of a little act called Infinite. Small company, good material. (I wish I could say the same about their second single though) The production didn't sound as rich as Infinite's usual standard, but that's one of their charms, one of the things that made me stop and listen to them.

At first glance, "Starlight" is very sharp. The chorus focuses on these very sharp, high notes, the verses aren't the most melodic ones around, and the production doesn't give it any body either. It's more like a flick on the forehead than it is a punch to the stomach -- sharper, smaller, more concentrated. But I like that part of the song, and I especially like how they managed to give the song much-needed grace.

I also think that the sharpness is just a cover for something else. What I like most about "Starlight" is the dynamics that go into the song -- the mini-explosions all over the place, the gorgeous arrangement at the bridge -- if those aren't moments I don't know what are. Whoever arranged this is clearly a genius. It's a very sharp song, yes, but that sharpness also gave way to the lightness and snappiness or the entire package. The production doesn't give the song as much body as other songs have, but it's that bareness that lets the groove get through all the layers that are already there.

I didn't expect this song to have groove, and even then the groove isn't blatant, but it's there and when you get it it's like an epiphany. It's a very subtle groove, but that subtlety gives it a sense of effortlessness. And effortless groove -- I'm having a field day because that's pretty rare in K-Pop.

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