A bitter truth to swallow is coming to terms with the fact that K-pop is a business that’s reliant on the engagement of consumers. This uncertainty is what will truly make or break an artist. So you either follow the trend (which ironically blends into obscurity), or embrace ‘rare’ soundscapes. With how fast K-pop goes by, it’s understandable to miss the gems in the rubble.
This is RoaD-B. Aka a rookie group where many people (including myself) from the review community went feral at hearing a song with a clear focus of melody. Oh, and also because of Sweetune! Admittedly I have not listened to their well-rounded debut, Nonstop, as much as I would like. Still! It’s another win for rookies who have been delivering bops this year. Icarus diverts from Nonstop a little by taking a more straightforward path. But man, years later and Sweetune still got it.
While the verses don’t really boast much by themselves, where instead of riding off the energy the song opts to take a breather. Perhaps that’s the small price to pay for what would be the greatest asset of Icarus. Because that chorus? That chorus! The rush of light strings, guitars, and layered vocals pulsing the two-part chorus? Incredible. This is helped by the setup with its hints of strings and back-up vocals, like a bird prepping itself to fly. There’s a triumphant undertone once that chorus takes off. It’s my favourite kind of pay-off in music. You can immediately sense the confidence radiating off the group purely from the production alone. While I believe Nonstop is more refined in its structure, the uplifting chorus is able to remedy Icarus‘ simplicity.
Who knows what will become of RoaD-B. It’s my pessimistic self that makes me worried, especially when this group has a much smaller following. For now, I will indulge in the present that is this gift RoaD-B came back with. Icarus is a great follow-up that further cements that confidence and melody are possible feats to achieve at the same time.
Header Image Source: Official RoaD-B Twitter