Remember when new groups debuted and it was clear that they had gotten kind of the dregs of their senior groups’ latest comeback or they were forced to do something suuuuuper cutesy because their maknae was only like 16 and not allowed to be sexy yet? Yeah, that’s not happening quite so much anymore.
We’ve seen tons of new idols debuting with great music, sometimes self-produced, awesome styling, challenging choreo, and a lot more production infused with their own personalities in the last year than we ever have before. I admit that it’s been overwhelming for me to choose who to fall in love with, who to learn, and where to pay attention. I’ve been comfort listening to a lot of my old favs like Nu’est or A.C.E or Golcha while I work because the beats are familiar, the lyrics are soothing, and there isn’t a ton of newness to be distracted by. There are some, like Kingdom and E’Last, that stick out for me, whom I’ve spent some time with and am or will likely become invested in, but I’m still a bit lost at sea with so many incredibly talented rookies floating around. I need a bit of a lifeboat to cling to in order to focus long enough to bond.
Enter the trainee survival show. I know they’re all fixed and the outcome is always easily predicted, but the sheer amount of time you get to spend with each of the hopefuls allows me the opportunity to get to know them before they debut – in their most raw and unstyled form. The young men of Enhypen are no expectation. I watched every second of I-Land, felt outraged when some trainees were dismissed and as proud as any fan when some of our less confident finally made it to the top. But what really solidified me in the ranks of those craving more was just how damn good their debut album was.
Given-Taken, the title track, is a pop-dance song with a great kind of eerie undertone. The video is all supernatural and dark and it all comes together beautifully. For being new to this gig, for pushing it out so quickly after the end of the show, they did an expert job. It is no mistake that this particular group of guys was put together as a team. They all have different strengths and areas for improvement and they continually push each other to the next level – throughout the show and in their pre-debut and debut content on YouTube. They are definitely worth following.
And I plan to be here for the ride.