Rookie groups have inundated 2014! I can’t even keep up with how many there have been. At last count, maybe 40 (both male and female)! That’s a lot!
Five recent additions to the Rookie Train caught my eye lately and, while they’re no Bangtan Boys for me, I’d like to learn a little more about them.
Those groups? B.I.G., LU:KUS, BIGFLO, Legend and Halo.
See, Bangtan Boys are the end-all-be-all of rookie groups for me. They grabbed me by the neck and shook me out of my “every day”, and convinced me to love them immediately. No other group has done that to me. EXO comes a super close second though. If they didn’t drag out the teasers, they’d probably be my number one. One can only be teased so much.
So, let’s rate these new groups against the epitome of Rookie Groups, BTS. From 1 to 5–5 being total BTS-type obsession–I will rate my likelihood of getting into this new group.
Anyway, these boys debuted on July 8th with their song called Hello.
And luckily it’s nothing like Boyz N Motion. B.I.G. has better choreography and they can actually sing. Ouch! That hurt to say, since I love Boyz N Motion so much. 🙂
The song Hello is actually really cute. The words are a love letter to Korea, as they rap and sing about the great things about their country. And then they say “hello” in a ton of languages, and rap a few lines about themselves to us. It’s a clever way to introduce members of a group.
Now, the rapping and the choreography, though cute, are not all that strenuous. I’m looking forward to their next songs to see if there are actually RapMon, Yongguk, GD caliber rappers in the group.
And, of course, they will get the unfair comparisons to BTS. I mean, I just did it myself. But I think they can handle it. I see more of a Block B flavoring with them though. Playful and tough. Humorous, but not jokey.
My rating: 3.5
Though LU:KUS is a rookie group, I wouldn’t technically call them rookies. They’re more of a repackage. Three members come from the disbanded group X-5, and another member has released a solo prior to joining this group. Still, they are a rookie group, having debuted on July 4th.
Their debut song is So Into U, and reminds me of Super Junior.
It’s a dance-pop, synth-based song just begging for sharp, precise, technical choreography. Unfortunately, I don’t see much of that in the video. Don’t get me wrong. I think these boys can dance, but their video doesn’t showcase that. I don’t know if its the choreographer, the setting, or the restrictive costumes, but the dancing didn’t wow me. I’d like to see a live performance of this.
The song is good though. It doesn’t scream “debut.” It sounds more like it came from an established group. Maybe a third or fourth single. It’s a song I could listen to again. Maybe one I’d use in a dance mix.
The costuming was okay, but didn’t seem to fit the song. I think suits in a night club setting would have been more appropriate. Instead, the costumes looked too uniform and militaristic, and the set looked like something out of SHINee’s Lucifer or SHINee’s Everybody. Too robotic and sterile. It just wasn’t sexy enough for the song.
I’m excited about this group though. I know they’ll have great music for us in the future. They seem like veterans already, so we know the talent is there.
My rating: 3
Let me get this out of the way first. I truly hate their name. I know it’s a reference to hip hop and the rhyme and word flows, but it just reminds me of part of your monthly cycle, if you get my drift. Sorry, it had to be said.
So, let’s pretend they have a different name and rate this debut. Shall we?
This group reminds me of Block B. Even their song sounds like something Block B might release. It’s full of spunk and swagger.
Their debut song is called Delilah and it was released in June. Too bad I’m barely getting around to it now.
The music is complex, with violins and rock guitar, while the singing is bright and full. And the rapping is just straight out of the T.O.P School of Rap Vocals, low and husky. In fact, the rapper, maknae High Top, even looks likes he could be T.O.P and P.O’s little brother, with the same eyebrow/eye shape and handsome ruggedness.
The dancing was kind of an afterthought for me, but that’s okay. Just like Block B, I don’t really consider them a dance group, so the lack of complicated dance moves didn’t bother me.
I liked the costuming. Well, the main costumes (above) weren’t my favorites but they didn’t distract from the song. The suits were my favorites, of course, but I’m also a fan of the typical boy band all-white outfits they wear.
Overall, I’m looking forward to their future songs. This is a group I could get into.
My rating: 3.5
They debuted on July 8th with their song Left Out, and I have to say I love it!
It’s the most American Pop sounding of all the rookies. In fact, it’s a song that could probably be released by a group like Midnight Red and it would fit right into current radio.
The song has R&B flavor, and the little piano riff comes from a reggae song released in 2010. Or maybe it’s just similar. The vocals are lovely, with SHINee Jonghyun lookalike, Roi, being a stand out. But then the rap break. And, oh my goodness, I’m in love with the maknae! EXO Chen lookalike, Lito, is adorable! I melted when he entered the screen in his little, white beanie.
Whew. Anyway, the styling of the video is standard boy band. They even got the requisite parking garage dance sequence out of the way already. Nicely done! The video is not awe-inspiring but neither is it offensive. Just like a true boy band should be.
The dancing is also typical boy band, but that’s a good thing. I’m perfectly fine with the sweeping hand across the floor move, the gliding hand down the body move, the angsty covering face with hand move. I’ve seen it all before, but these boys do it well.
Overall, I look forward to what Legend has in store for us next.
My rating: 4.2
Now, where Legend is reminiscent of an American boy band, like 98 Degrees or Backstreet Boys, these boys are like a typical K-Pop boy band. They look like Boyfriend or Teen Top, and sound like BtoB. That’s good company to be in, but I hope they manage to break out of the pack and come in to their own.
This debut song is called Fever and was released in June.
It’s a good song, though not all that memorable. And the dancing is very much stuff I’ve seen before. Again, not that memorable.
I like this group, but this debut didn’t wow me. It’s nice, but I’m looking for something a little edgy and sexy. Something that makes me want to hit the replay button.
The boys themselves are super cute though. They are the ones who make me want to hit the replay button.
They look youthful and fresh in their black and white street clothes, and older and sexy in their suits and white shirts. That’s always a favorite look of mine.
I’m looking forward to their next single. I’ll have a more complete opinion of them once I see what they do next.
My rating: 3
Which of these 5 rookie groups has your attention? Are there any other rookies you’re loving already? Let me know!