Keembo are an interesting case study for me.
As one part Spica and one part Sweetune, they were theoretically a guaranteed lock for me and were destined to be one of my bias groups. But apart from debut effort Scandalous, I don’t think I’ve very truly connected with any of their songs. Their releases feel much more low-key and faceless than I would liked and couple that with the massive weight of expectation I had and you end up with a discography that feels solid yet underwhelming. Thankfully, with the moody Inside, they’ve finally found that killer arrangement I’ve been longing for.
But as much I like Inside now, I need to stress that it was a real slow burn for me. And I expect it will be for many others too. It’s a song that won’t really grab you by the neck and pull you in right away and its more atmospheric soundscape could be a little disorientating for those who crave a more aggressive dance sound. But personally, this kind of dark, almost dreamy sound is one of my favourites and brings me right back to many other sensual girl group tracks of the second gen. This is strongest during Inside‘s wispy vocal ad-libs, which open the track and reappear during the post chorus hook. They fit Inside with a healthy dose of personality and are an example of Sweetune’s golden touch in action. Alongside the descending chorus melody, they forge a song that feels like a throwback in the best way possible
Speaking of which, while I think it to be quite strong, the chorus could have really gone bigger. I love its more sensual and restrained delivery and the melody does have some strong peaks but I wish it would have had a more forceful arrangement. Something along the lines of Miss A’s Hush or 9Muses Sleepless Night maybe? Keembo offer a fantastic performance but given a more healthy dose of Sweetune’s trademark vocal layering, it would have really put the entire package over the edge. Thankfully, the consistent pulse and disco strings from the funky instrumental are enough to keep the rest of the track afloat and even during its more sagging moments, helps forge Inside into a track that’s the duo’s strongest effort since their debut.
Final Rating: 8.5/10