As exciting as they have been frustrating, ENHYPEN have been the purveyors of almost all my concerns and critiques of HYBE’s recent musical direction. The heavy vocal mixing and often muddled production has left me cold to most of their material, a sentiment that really shouldn’t be the case when considering my love for the groups excellent ‘Dimension:Dilemma’ album. And though new title track Pass the MIC initially mirrored those thoughts, time has been brought out the tracks many charms.
Mirroring much of what we’ve already heard in 2022’s slate of boy group releases, Pass the MIC is all bluster, bounding out of the gate with a filtered chant and aggressive drill inspired beat. It’s a statement of intent that though initially cringey, transforms into utter camp the more listens you put in. Tracks like this are so much better when not taken seriously and the moment you drop your critical lens, Pass the MIC transforms into quite a fun ride. Sure the vocals are hyper processed and the production follows the classic canned nature that the group have become infamous for but I think it kind of works here. It lends a unique, claustrophobic edge to an otherwise widescreen approach, giving the track an additional sense of personality that transcends the expected the shouty performance.
And though the tracks hip hop laced verses do much to bring the party, the track really comes into its own during its rambunctious, brass assisted hook. The pseudo melodic pre-chorus acts as a solid build before the track explodes into one of the years most catchy centrepieces. Sure, it’s just a number of disparate lines stitched together with the help of some exciting brass and percussion but sometimes that’s all you need to create a great hype track. Its energy is addictive, something that’s led Pass the MIC to probably be my favourite Enhypen title track yet.
Final Rating: 8.5 / 10