Song Review: NiziU – HEARTRIS

There’s a long history of K-pop groups debuting in Japan, but the opposite rarely happens. I expect this to change as a new generation of Japanese groups formed and managed by Korean companies make their mark on the industry. NiziU are a JYP act and have been doing quite well for themselves in Japan and abroad. It only makes sense for them to release music in Korea next.

Sadly, HEARTRIS has nothing new to bring to the K-pop conversation. If you enjoy bubbly, sing-talk girl group fare this is another track to add to the pile. I suppose its ebullience is refreshing now that many of their peers are lodged in this cool, understated trend. And, HEARTRIS‘s instrumental casts a few sparks when it’s not busy segueing into slower interludes. The splashy production underlining the chorus is quite addictive, accented with rhythm guitar and synth brass. I would have loved to hear this energy sustain throughout the entire track.

HEARTRIS‘s Achilles heel is a symptom of K-pop as a whole. There’s simply way too much sing-talk and sing-chant. The girls talk their way through most of the song, albeit with a vaguely melodic approach. It’s not rhythmic enough to have the appeal of rap, but misses the fun singalong charm that buoyed so many “cute” girl group singles of the past. Apart from the occasional blast of upbeat energy, there’s just not enough to grab hold of here.






Grade: C

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