We've been with THE BADDEST, you got a whole lot MORE, but now it's time to go #ALLOUT.— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) November 6, 2020
Apple Music: https://t.co/mvp0TkVWLp#KDA#ALLOUT#VILLAIN#DRUMGODUM#ILLSHOWYOUpic.twitter.com/zXe5sgDnA8
Ahri, Evelynn, Akali and Kai’sa’s dulcet tones (provided by an impressive roster of contributing artists, including new champ Seraphine) hit hard in a surprisingly varied EP.
Outside of what can loosely be considered traditional K/DA tracks in “THE BADDEST” and “MORE,” the remaining three tracks are all solos, and much more distinctive to the character of their singers.
Evelynn, Kai’sa and Ahri all get their time in the spotlight, and each of their tracks pushes a very different style of (K-)pop. It’s proved an interesting - and well-executed - way for Riot to explore their character’s personalities in a different way, and broaden K/DA’s musical repertoire while they're at it.
One of the joys of having characters for artists over real-life people means you can really index into character traits. “VILLAIN,” Evelynn’s solo, does exactly that. It’s a sultry, gothic-tinged track that plays-up the diva’s mysterious and dangerous persona, provided by OG Evelynn vocalist, Madison Beer. It’s one part seduction and one part ethereal siren call; shamelessly villainous and all the more fun for it.
Much like Evelynn, “VILLAIN” is aloof, confident and embraces the joys of high-fashion evil. The chorus line is quite literally “I’m a straight-up villain” - doesn’t get more blatant than that. Now, where were Eve’s ex-lovers again?
For Kai’sa, her song “DRUM GO DUM” is straight out of Blackpink’s playbook with hefty kick-drum samples, sleek synth loops and a gorgeous DnB break at the end to really get the bodies moving out on the club floor.
The similarities to Blackpink come as no surprise when you realise Bekuh BOOM is involved - you can thank her for the lethal beats on Whistle and Boombayah among others - and DRUM GOES DUM seems to be another hit in the bag. Add in the talents of Aluna and Wolftyla, and you’ll be nodding along to the beat with the rest of us.
Last but not least of the new tracks is, “I’LL SHOW YOU,” solo of the Queen of K/DA herself, Ahri. It’s the most quintessentially “K-pop” track on the EP, light, bright and full of bubblegum synths that wouldn’t have been out of place in the ’80s. Add in a harmony-rich chorus for some uplift and you have yourself a gorgeous bit of uplifting pop.
Do yourself a favour, and turn your eyes to the contributing artists on this track while you’re at it. Bekuh BOOM returns once more, and Annika Wells offers some excellent English-language vocal talent, but the real coup for Riot is the involvement of K-pop juggernauts TWICE. The darlings of K-pop are huge… well, everywhere, and their signature touch can be felt everywhere in “I’LL SHOW YOU.” Sugar-sweet with a defiant core of steel.