Ah it’s been a while since I’ve written a proper post on the blog. Although I’ve been posting sporadically for the past few weeks, most of those were pre-written articles that I posted just to make sure my blog didn’t completely die for a few weeks. During this period I was rigorously revising for some of exams and now that they’re all over and done with, it’s time to do some serious catch-up work! Most tracks that I missed will probably be covered within a “quickie catchup reviews” post but there are few standouts that I really want to give the spotlight. Chief amongst these is TOO’s excellent Count 1,2 (하나 둘 세고) which is the kind of buoyant summer time smash I live for.
While TOO debuted earlier in the year with the angst ridden Magnolia, I didn’t take a real interest in them till their stint on Road To Kingdom. While I thought most of their performances were rather underwhelming, their incredible rendition of TVXQ’s eternal classic Rising Sun absolutely floored me. Since then I’ve kept a keen eye out for the boys and if this is the kind of material they’re going to pursue down the road, I’m all aboard the hype train.
Rather than adhere to the many trends plaguing modern day pop music, Count 1,2 goes full on melodic. It’s so refreshing to hear a song in 2020 that doesn’t revert to momentum killing breakdowns every 5 seconds or swerve into an instrumental drop. Much of the track bounces forward on a lighthearted yet ever-present electro bounce and feels perfectly tuned towards the season. Couple this with the groups freewheeling and ever optimistic vocal delivery and its everything I’ve wanted from a boy group song this month.
The same could be said for 1,2‘s chorus which bounds forward with immense buoyancy. Rather than revert to some standard electro-pop drop, we get a fully fleshed out melody that utilises the groups great vocal line to create a brilliant layered hook. It just feels like sunshine in a bottle. It’s one of those hooks that just gets more and more potent over the course of the song and just feels downright vital. Even the post chorus rap breakdown bursts with so much individual character that it’s hard to not get caught up in the whole thing. It reminds me a lot of a boy group equivalent of Weki Meki’s excellent Moya Moya from last month. But this time it’s actually a single! Against all odds this might just end up being my song of the summer
Final Rating: 9 / 10