Fromis (_9) are the result of yet another survival show titled Idol School (hence the name From…I(dol) S(chool). When the show came out I swore against it like I did both Produce 101 and whatever ilk spawned beyond that. Unfortunately I ended up getting invested in the show and some of the contestants (many of my choices NOT making the group), but now I am invested in the group as well. Needless to say I knew the group would end up being cute (a school concept…please).
Because I am in such a rush review wise, I decided to combine both their 2018 releases into one review. To Heart and DKDK (which is just Pitapat).
If you heard their pre-release song Glass Shoes (which I loved), To Heart sort of deviates. Glass Shoes is far more…timid and subdued. To Heart, while not going full out Gfriend (though they did come to mind when listening to this song), does bring a lot of energy to the forefront. To be honest I don’t actually have anything bad to say about this song. It might be much to say right now, but it will likely be one of my favorite songs by the end of the year list. It’s likable and fun. I think it has been a great debut for them.
The real test was how I would feel about their second single, the light summer fun Pitapat (DKDK).
DKDK did not have me immediately musically. I actually think the song’s biggest fault is simply not trying to build or go anywhere. The final chorus doesn’t even really do a key change. The song just comes and goes musically. So I just watched the video and was sitting there…waiting. And then the song ended. I took some time away from the song, and ended up humming the hook. So yeah…the song wins. I just don’t like how the song doesn’t do much. To Heart took no prisoners and created something buoyant and bright. DKDK is more staticy and using far more synths, but leads itself to nowhere. The lesson here is to not set yourself up with expectations…in some situations.
Fromis_9 have handled 2018 well. Their first two releases have been likable and different, while allowing the group to exist in the same realm conceptually. Of the two I will say that To Heart wins, as it was immediately striking, borrowing from the handbook of Gfriend and Lovelyz (to groups who I appreciate). DKDK feels like it should have done more with how energetic it felt. Ultimately I do end up liking it, but felt rather let down and conflicted after initial listens. Still the song offers a fun chorus and take on a rather old concept in k pop, and doesn’t leave the group with a flat note. Hopefully Fromis_9 will be able to comeback one more time before the year ends and deliver something good like their last two releases.
Fromis_9 officially debuted with To. Heart on January 24, 2018 and released their second EP titled To. Day on June 5, 2018. Both releases are available on all platforms for streaming and digital download.