[Review] [Single] U-KISS "Standing Still"
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If there is one thing that U-KISS knows really well, it is their audience. Over the past few years, they've developed a distinctive, signature sound that works really well for them and makes their songs immediately recognizable.
"Standing Still" falls right in line with U-KISS's brand of dance singles with the same driving beat and dramatic lyrics that have been their wheelhouse since their "Man Man Ha Ni" days. They do change things up with the use of an acoustic guitar in the instrumental- it's not quite the departure that we saw with "DORADORA" and "Stop Girl", but it does add an interesting new element to their sound and the overall effect comes together nicely. "Standing Still" fits the band to a T and it's something their current audience should love.
The reality of K-Pop is that promotion is as important -maybe even more important- to a release's success than the release itself, and unfortunately, there was very little pre-promotion for their release. This resulted in a somewhat slow, tepid response, leaving "Standing Still to debut at #121 on Gaon, only a few places ahead of SECRET's "Talk That", which was released back in December. While there's definitely time for U-KISS to scale the charts, a lack of early promotion can prevent a song from getting the response it deserves.
As far as Korean audiences are concerned, U-KISS dropped off the radar after "Stop Girl"- all of their promotions since then have been in Japan, with the exception of Eli's TV show with NS Yoon G, but even this was marketed to English-speakers. Dongho also had a movie but unfortunately it didn't do very well at the box office. The only hype for their 'Collage' comeback was a couple of teaser images- not much when you consider how most groups have an abundance of promotions before a comeback. These include teaser images, individual and group video teasers, as well as a daily press release to the media outlets. You have to know something is coming to get excited for it, but many KISSMEs were unaware that U-KISS was having a comeback until it happened.
It doesn't help that the music video is a bit of a mess. The filming style- an overly-shaky camera and constant cuts away from the choreography- is how you'd film for people who don't have charisma on camera or who can't dance, neither of which are the case with U-KISS.
I'm thrilled to hear that U-KISS is guesting on 'Immortal Song 2' soon, and I hope that turns into a regular slot, because they've got one of the strongest vocal lines in K-Pop right now, and they deserve the chance to show that off to a new audience. "Standing Still" is a great song that deserves to be heard, and the song title is a bit ironic. I hope that the lack of promotions doesn't put U-KISS in a standing still position in this fast paced music industry.
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