While I am the type of person who readily watches idol survival shows, To Be World Klass was one of the few that I pretty much ignored during its run time. While this was mostly due to a lack of time, the terrible remix of Brown Eyed Girl’s groundbreaking Abracadabra didn’t exactly help either. Add onto that a ridiculous controversy resulting in one of the winning members getting kicked out of the group, and you haven’t really got the best start for a group. However, while debut track Magnolia (매그놀리아) isn’t perfect, it does carve out a promising sound for the group.
Apart from having one of the coolest names I’ve heard in a while, the first thing that really struck me about TOO was their choice to go for the usually exhilarating hip-hop rock hybrid. It’s one of my favourite styles, and one that usually works really well. And this mostly applies to Magnolia swell, which combines strong hip hop verses with a powerful and instantly gratifying hook. There isn’t really much melody to be found in these verses, but for moments like these there doesn’t need to be. It’s all about the satisfying beat. But much of the flow here reminds me too much of too many recent boy group tracks to really hold much weight. They’re enjoyable, but I would have preferred a much more unique flow.
The hook on the other hand is much stronger, combining two potent refrains into one strong centrepiece that has only improved over further listens. I love the heavy interjections of rock guitar, which provide the added grit and texture to really help it soar. But while this is all great, I really wish that Magnolia would have gone harder. For now, it feels alot like a more restrained version of A.C.E’s Under Cover from last year. And while that track hit like a jackhammer, Magnolia feels more like getting slapped. Both hurt, just one feels less impactful than the other. With their upcoming stint on ‘Road To Kingdom’ I hope to see more sides of TOO, but Magnolia is a strong starting point for the group.
Final Rating: 8 / 10
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