rising (assemble); triples

feb 15 2023

After rookie girl group tripleS revealed 10 out of the planned 24 members, the existing members came together to release their new EP, Assemble. Despite ethical objections to the group, I really liked and highly praised their last EP from subunit Acid Angel from Asia, so I was looking forward to the new music they had to offer. Unfortunately, Assemble didn't wow me quite as much.

The mini album starts out strong, with "Beam" delivering a smooth and laid back yet catchy listening experience. Unfortunately, the quality of the songs starts to dive after that, with the producers shoving a 50 second pitched up remix/intro to the title track in this mini album as its own separate track, "Before the Rise." I just don't really see the point of this song existing. If an intro to "Rising" needed to exist (and this track doesn't really make an argument for why it should), it should've just been in the actual song itself, not awkwardly stretched out to pad the album run track.

After that stumble comes the title track, "Rising," which regains its footing and sticks the landing. It actually reminds me a lot of something Kwon Eunbi would put out, with its complex and textured instrumental paired with smooth and melodic vocals. If there's one thing to complain about with this song, it's that it's just too short! This is a complaint of mine for the full album, which is packed with 2 minute and under songs and doesn't have a song longer than 3:30.

I think the short song lengths contribute to my complaints about the rest of the bsides from here, all of which are just okay. The songs are simply too short to develop the various sounds they're going for. "Colorful" is dated, 2016ish electropop, kind of reminiscent of Luna's "Free Somebody." Unlike Luna's song, "Colorful" ultimately is forgettable. The song builds up to the chorus and then all the energy just drops out of it, and not in a purposeful "anti-drop" way. There's just not enough meat and bass in the chorus to make it work.

"The Baddest" is another just okay song. Unlike "Colorful," "The Baddest" is actually going for an anti-drop chorus, and it almost works. Again, there's just not enough meat and bass in the instrumental to support the song. "New Look" is another tired ripoff of The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights," dropped into the Kpop ecosystem a little too late to profit off of 2020's 80s/retro craze. "Chowall" is dreamy and almost interesting, dipping a little bit into the UK bass and drum sound, but the song is simply too short to actually do anything or go anywhere. There are almost no vocals and the song is more of an outro, clocking in at just over a minute long.

It was also disappointing not to see "Dimension" on this EP. AAA's version being tagged as "Dimension (AAA Ver.)" led me to believe every subunit release would have their own version, which would've been cool. But maybe that's just me making up things to get excited over and then being mad that it's not there.

Overall, I just didn't think this release was that good or interesting, a huge step down from Access. It's not bad; just okay. Which is almost worse than if it was enjoyable, fun, trash. I'll still check out this group's subsequent releases, but I won't be quite as excited for them as I was before.