[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
1. Pump It Up
2. That Guy
3. Lean On Me
Make sure your tray tables are returned to an upright position because 10 member boy group Golden Child has made their landing with their second single album, Pump It Up. The release only features a paltry three songs, barely enough to register the group's abilities and talents, but a nice blip on the release radar for this quarter nonetheless.
Pump It Up begins with the title track, "Pump It Up," an upbeat song that is not shy in boasting it's heavily used samples of "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5. The song itself is extraordinarily formulaic and not much of a surprise in any facet. However, it's not unlistenable and not an unenjoyable experience; I didn't find any bit of it to be memorable beyond a song of a similar sound that I've heard in the past.
"That Guy" offers a slower ballad for the members to flex their vocals on, and I have to say this was my favorite release on the 3-track album. Admittedly I tend to stray away from ballads, but I really enjoyed the vocal arrangements and part distributions on this release. In particular, the bridge into the chorus has a really nice progression that gives this song an OST theme feeling.
"Lean On Me" is the final track of the three, and the song has somehow time-traveled a decade into the past and captured the essence of K-Pop in that era. "Lean On Me" boasts a bouncy synth and simple melody that go hand in hand with a classic K-Pop progression that so many groups want to run away from these days, but Golden Child does a good job at not making the classic sound feel retired and tiresome. Overall, the release is nothing innovative and new, but palatable and easy-to-listen-to.
There must be something about airlines and airplanes that we are missing because of coronavirus because this is the most often I've ever seen the pilot motif being used in MVs in K-Pop! Golden Child is looking dapper in their pilot uniforms for the MV and does a great job keeping up a positive and cheerful attitude to really keep a smile on your face throughout the video.
The video reminds me of SEVENTEEN's earlier days and MV styles, and often make me wonder why Golden Child isn't at the forefront of the K-Pop industry alongside similar groups. The group seems to boast comparable visuals, vocals, dance, variety, and members as many others, but they seem to fall by the wayside time and time again when promoting. This MV is an enjoyable one, an overall 8 if you ask me!
MV Score: 8
Album Score: 5.7