Please note these special posts are designed to be long and may require some time to read (if you plan on reading the entire post). To help shorten the length, the music video will be inserted as hyperlinked titles, so feel free to click the title of each section to watch the video.
The Unit was a survival program by KBS (Korean Broadcasting Station) to help reboot the unsung and little-known KPOP acts of the industry (i.e. to give some groups and singers that second chance of debuting). The show was hosted by Rain and aired from October 2017 to February 2018.
With the impending debut of both the final lineup of the male (UNB) and female (UNI.T) groups (i.e. the end goal of all the contestants), I thought it would be nice to take some time to look back on the competition. This is a 3 part weekly special, which I will be looking at the performances and songs that emerged from the show.
This week’s (the 2nd part) post focuses on the songs that did not make the Top 2 of the Fourth Mission: Digital Single Releases for both the female and male sides of the competition.
You’re Mine – Marco (Hot Blood Youth), Rockhyun (100%), JunQ (MYNAME), Feeldog (BigStar), B-Joo (Topp Dogg) & Lee Jungha
You’re Mine feels like a retro disco track, with what feels like a Korean twist during the hook of the song. The song is borderline cringy and cute, especially the chorus. However, the good thing is the chorus does grow on you towards the end of the song. It did become quite catchy and addictive. While the verses could have been a little more interesting, the vocal work in the song does stand out, particularly in the pre-chorus. The raps did give the song that more interesting factor. For the choreography, I thought they did a good job at incorporating the member who had to sit out (assuming due to injury). It did also seem borderline cringy but still fun to watch.
My Story – Seyong(MYNAME), Kijoong (IM), Raehwan (BIGSTAR), Heedo (B.I.G), Rayoon (MVP), Jun (A.C.E.), Sungjun (Boys Republic), Im Junhyuk
Out of the 6 songs from the male side of the competition, My Story was the least interesting song out of all. It did have a nostalgic feel to it. It did have nice vocals and raps. But these elements just didn’t connect with each other. The post-chorus ‘What you wanna do’ repetition just felt too loud in comparison to the rest of the song and unfitting in general. This resulted in it being not so memorable, which was disappointing. Even the final line, ‘Sweet Fantasy‘, could have been more impactful but instead, it ended the song a relatively flat note. Even the same uninteresting comments could be made about the performance.
I have a massive soft spot for when rappers sing, mainly because their voices add a unique touch to the song. And this is the main reason why I think highly of No Way. While it isn’t technically the most memorable song out of the 6 songs from the male side of the competition, it did give me vibes that I felt from songs when I first listened to KPOP 8 years back. The chorus was nice, with the ‘No No No Way‘ from both the vocalists (and Kanto’s rap) being the most memorable lines. As for the choreography, the members did look a little disconnected and distracted while performing on stage. But they managed to pull through and display a nice performance.
On this list, Sweet has to be my favourite song. It had the potential to be a great song. But it just wasn’t catchy as it should have been. It has a mature vibe to it but fitting for the young crowd. I like its subtle instrumental as well. The vocal work throughout the song was quite nice. I particularly like the second half of the chorus, where the members sang softly, allowing for one member to become the more dominant. The main issue was the bridge, which ended up feeling quite rush. Likewise, this same comments could be made for the performance. It was nice but the bridge was messy and rushed.
Cosmos – Yebin (DIA), Heejin (Good Day), Dan-A (Matilda), Yeoeun (Melody Day), Hyosun (H.U.B), Kim (Rubber Soul), Viva (Good Day)
I personally don’t have much to say about this track. It was rather weak, compared to their competition. It just felt like a standard KPOP song that would easily be forgotten due to its weak hook. But what the song did have which felt like an advantage was stable vocals. This did set the song apart to an extent but not enough to make it memorable. However, to enhance the performance (and hence song), they used the comedic approach. Normally I would find this a terrible idea. But it did the job perfectly at grabbing your attention and making it somewhat more memorable.
Poco a Poco – Yang Jiwon (SPICA), Somyi (DIA), Yoonjo, Lucky (Good Day), Chahee (Melody Day), Hyeyeon (BESTie)
Poco a Poco featured a great opener, which set the song up for success. It had a bright atmosphere, which made it likeable. Also likeable were the chorus and the Poco a Poco hook in the post-chorus. The song did feel like it ended quickly, compared to the rest of the songs. The only major problem was the bridge which just didn’t feel fitting or right for the song. Despite having a nice performance, the song did seem to limit the creativity of the members. Nonetheless, they did a good job with that aspect of the mission.
Come back next week for Part 3 (and Final) post for The Unit Songs Review.