Sometimes the best things come from places where you least expect it. Though they released some pre-debut material, I was never all that invested in CRAXY. From a distance they seemed like just another low budget girl group destined to get lost in the ever-changing and oversaturated kpop market. As a result, I wasn’t all too excited for their debut track, already kind of predisposed to not like it. Oh how wrong I was. Aria is easily the most striking debut we’ve seen so far this year, combining a hodgepodge of influences into a propulsive piece of anthemic dance pop.
After hearing this and 3YE’s Queen from last month, I’ve begun to notice a growing resurgence of one of my favourite styles within modern day girl group fare. These bombastic unrelenting dance beat laced opening verses were ever-present during K-pop’s second generation, so it’s incredibly fun to see them make a comeback. Though its opening moments play around with this rather standard (but very strong) template, the rest of the Aria is anything but predictable. To put it frankly, Aria is one of the weirdest tracks I’ve heard in a while. The first time around it’s almost impossible to fully grasp where the song Is heading. There really isn’t any sense of structure to be found. But after a few listens, everything clicks.
Though the tracks first chorus may seem rather weak, it’s only a precursor for the exhilarating hook that takes shape almost halfway through the track. While it primarily relies on an instrumental drop, it twists in interesting and unexpected directions. The implementation of traditional instrumentation is an inspired choice, imbuing the track with an additional sense of character. The entire track actually reminds me quite abit of 9muses’s brilliant News, which also assembled a number of smaller refrains into one knockout hook. But whereas News was much more streamlined, Aria thrives on its odd musical turns and unique production. While I cant quite decide whether or not I love it, there’s no denying that’s its made an impression on me. And that’s the most important thing a debut should do.
Final Rating: 8.5 / 10