One of my most anticipated rookie group debuts this year was Woollim’s Golden Child, Infinite’s little brother group. GolCha, as they like to call themselves, is an 11 member group consisting of Daeyeol (who is actually Infinite Sungyeol’s little brother), Y, Jaeseok, Jangjun, TAG, Seungmin, Jaehyun, Jibeom, Donghyun, Joochan and Bomin.
SaraG and I were both over the moon about their W Project releases, and she even did a post about it. Their sound and concept was exactly as it should be – cool, and a little edgy, in a relaxed sort of way. In fact, Drought was so good, its worth popping their “Waiting Room” version of the song in here, for you to further appreciate its awesomeness.
We watched their pre-debut series WoollimPick on V Live. It was charming. We learned their names. We picked biases. We fell in love. We piled all our rookie hopes and dreams into them, and we waited.
Their pre-debut release, SEA, wasn’t quite what we were hoping for, but its was fun and summery, and I admit to playing it loudly driving along with my windows down. While we had misgivings, we hadn’t lost hope.
Then, a few weeks later, this is what they released for their debut.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it. It’s better than most of the debut tracks being cranked out. It’s super catchy. It was easy for me to remember after just one listen, and I won’t forget it anytime soon. I’m super partial to the Baseball Butt Wiggle, and I approve of the gym shorts (We have A.C.E to thank for my new thigh appreciation). It’s not as cutesy as it could have been, but on a scale of Astro to B.A.P, they’re rubbing elbows with Sanha and Jinjin.
I am a little disappointed. I understand that this is the way rookie groups usually have to start. The target audience is junior high school and up, so that the students can grow and age together with the group. And GolCha is the typical age of a debut group – 17 to 24 – so there is a tendency to not get too adult when they still have youngsters in their lineup. But… their W Project stuff was SO GOOD. /sigh
To make myself feel better, I think I’ll watch a few more minutes of them being gorgeous.
So, verdict? While I won’t play it on repeat, this is a solid debut song and video on the cute-pop end of the spectrum. They are polished and talented in the way you’d expect the heirs to Infinite to be. I am just going to have to wait patiently for them to experiment with their sound and concept and move back in the cool hip-hop direction. That’s the wonderful thing about Kpop – no group ever sticks to the same old thing. They grow and change. And with these boys as the raw material, I know they’ll knock my socks off one day.
P.S. I totally bought the album. I’m invested in them doing well now!