Other than their less than stellar debut Nom, I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything Dongkiz have released. The ghostbusters sampling Blockbuster was a great time, and followup Fever was even better. Even January’s All I Need Is You, an album track turned single was one of that months stronger songs. After all my favourite group have gone dark, they remain one of the only bright boy groups left. But after looking at the teasers for Lupin, it seemed as though they would be the umpteenth group to fall into this almost endless pool of edgy boy groups. Of course sharing the same name as one of k-pop’s all time greatest songs shouldn’t hurt.
Thankfully, Lupin is the same upbeat Dongkiz that we know and love, just shone through a more mature light. But while it is much of what made their past works so enjoyable, this added level of restraint probably makes Lupin their weakest single yet. But weakest doesn’t automatically mean bad, as there are still things that make Lupin incredibly enjoyable. The rhythm guitar that underlies most the tracks verses are immensely refreshing, and as far from the EDM or trap laced backing tracks that have invested most new releases. But for some reason these segments lack the punch that they in theory should have. They fell prominent, but almost immediately evaporate from memory at the songs end. This includes the tracks lurching pre-chorus, which pretty much halts much the tracks momentum to a crawl. It feels sluggish in the worst way possible, and rids the track with what could be a strong setup to the hook.
Lucikly the hook itself, which is more an instrumental loop than fleshed out refrain, is especially potent. Though not as frantic as Fever, this guitar loop immediately sticks and grows much more potent over the course of the track. Even the one word refrain that follows the drop is also strong, and works as a great anchor to a hook that could potentially come off as bland. In all, I feel like the track would have been much more impactful had the producers been more inclined to going big. The track is fine, but could have easily become brilliant had they taken this early victorian fantasy concept to greater levels.
Final Rating: 7.5 / 10