As one of 2022’s biggest and most anticipated debuts, Kep1er’s have a lot riding on their shoulders. Formed through the very popular Girls Planet 999, the girls debut comes supported with massive hype from fans, especially considering that it was unfortunately delayed from a mid December release. WA DA DA is the girls big debut effort and while very promising, is a bit all over the place.
Now despite not watching Girls Planet 999, I loved the shows theme O.O.O (Over & Over & Over). It carried the kind of over the top, you can do it! energy that I had loved from the Produce series and appealed to some of the tucked away nostalgia that I didn’t even know I had. But apart from that, I came into Wa Da Da completely blind. And as such, the tracks more gritty, distorted production definitely took me by surprise. I love how heavily percussive the track is, taking a deep house influence but twisting it just enough for it to come across as more forceful than just a simple retread. The opening verse is fantastic, feeling like a solid match between production and performance. Given how the show was presented and the pre-debut concept teasers, I had expected the track to be one of those shouty, cheerleading style tracks and while it does have some of those moments (which I will get to), most of the performance feels fitting to the more daring instrumentation.
But the chorus is where we start to have some problems. Now it starts pretty strong with a great descending riff but then it just proceeds to crash and burn.
I don’t usually care about lyrics but when your chorus opens with something like “vroom vroom vroom like a super sonic” –> “Wa da da Wa da da” and then “Kep1er going Wa da da da” then you bet I’m going to be a little, hmm what’s the word, confused. Now, I can appreciate some weird and nonsensical lyrics (I’m a massive fan of second gen K-pop) but this just makes me crack up. The delivery + the lyrics + the unnecessarily noisy production all come together to create a chaotic centrepiece which just doesn’t do the track any favours at all. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more confusing, the chanted post chorus hits, derailing much of what made the opening minute of the track so engaging. It’s a wild ride which is very exciting at the start but leaves you completely exhausted by the end. I had hope for Kep1er but this makes me wish that their followup is more cohesive and appealing than this.
Final Rating: 7.25/ 10