loveticon (sequence17&); csr
nov 19 2022
CSR quickly became one of my favorite new groups following their release of Sequence:7272 back in July. In a sea of girl crush and teen crush, CSR felt like a breath of fresh air when they debuted with a pure and innocent "first love" concept, reminiscent of early GFriend. CSR's musical debut was cute, well produced, and fun, with the mini album bringing in some 90s-esque elements with the bsides. I really enjoyed their debut and was looking forward to their next release, especially since their company (a relatively new and unknown one) acknowledged that the attention they were getting came primarily from their cute and innocent concept, which suggested that they weren't going to do a 180 degree concept switch unlike some other groups.
I miss you, high teen Weeekly. Come back to me.
Speaking of early Weeekly, that's what CSR's new single "Loveticon" reminds me of. It matures CSR's sound away from the solely pure and innocent concept and into the Weeekly-esque fresh high teen concept that has been pretty popular in Kpop recently. While Sequence:7272 utilized mostly synthpop and piano, "Loveticon" brings in a bit of guitar and drums while still having a lot of synthy goodness. It reminds me a little bit of Nature's old music, too (specifically "Allegro Cantabile"). The bside "Anding (&)" is a nice ballad that shows off their vocals without being super boring (although I probably won't listen to it that much, preferring more upbeat music myself).
I know their company said that this is going to be the end of their "Youth Film" series, but I hope that doesn't mean a drastic concept switch. They can gradually mature their style and sound while still keeping their identity as a group. "Cute" doesn't inherently mean infantilization and "mature" doesn't inherently mean girl crush. After this release, I do have hope for their future. While I don't love "Loveticon" quite as much as "Pop? Pop!" I do like it a lot and think it's a fantastic song. I'm definitely excited to see what they do in the future!
Tangent here (I held it until after the actual music review was over: are you guys proud of me?): The visual design for this album is a massive downgrade. I will never understand why companies are obsessed with plastering this awful greyish filter on their girls. It's especially weird here since the concept is supposed to be a bright school concept. They're also in front of this massive, boring, grey wall instead of in a school gymnasium or outside at a playground, which would feel more fitting for the concept. Also, the light pink color they've chosen for the text is incredibly low contrast with the grey, which makes it hard to see. Personally, I think this much worse than the design of their first album, which the cover directly references and which I liked a lot.
CSR's first album, Sequence:7272 vs their second album, Sequence17&.