Korea’s own dream team of idols, Wanna One, published their second mini album  0+1=1 on March 19th. On the same day the music video for the title track “Boomerang” was released. While still being enjoyable, “Boomerang” is not particularly remarkable or outstanding, especially when compared to the group’s previous releases.

One of the biggest challenges for a group is probably to find an identity, and in this case “Boomerang” might be a step backward for Wanna One. In fact “Energetic” was a breath of fresh air and a virtually flawless debut track and “Beautiful” showed a completely different and mellow side of the group. At this point, Wanna One needed a song that could define their own sound, but “Boomerang” fails at it.

Being Wanna One, one of the most popular k-pop groups currently promoting, expectations are unsurprisingly very high every time they release new music. Sadly “Boomerang” ends up sounding outdated and not particularly original. The lack of a chorus substituted by an electronic instrumental part, the half-rapped verses, and a singing part right before the beat drops, are actually part of a structure that was widely used back in 2016 — present in BTS “Fire” and GOT7 “Hard Carry”.

Similarly, “Boomerang”’s music video isn’t particularly impressive and there is nothing particularly outstanding about it. Dark colours dominate the music video and there is a prominent use of yellow and gold at the same time, giving a fancy touch to it. All scenes take place in a studio and the members are only seen reversing certain random actions — like dropping water from a plastic water bottle. Despite this, there is still an interesting element: Jinyoung is seen with a cassette tape, a prop that was present in “Energetic” and “Beautiful” music videos as well — hinting at a connection or at least some continuity within the music videos.

While still being interesting to watch, “Boomerang”’s choreography is not even nearly as elaborate and complex as the ones of “Energetic” and “Burn It Up”. Besides, the music video doesn’t give it proper justice. All shootings of the dance routine are oblique and shakey, making it hard to effectively get a grasp of how it actually looks like without watching a live performance of the song.

Some of the harshest criticism that the Wanna One’s past title tracks received was about the uneven singing parts distribution: certain members barely got more than one line of their own to sing. In “Boomerang” this seems to have been at least partially fixed: vocalists like Jaehwan and Seongwoo and Seungwoon still sing most of the song, but members such as Jisung and Jinyoung got to sing a little bit more. It’s understandably hard to split singing parts equally in a group composed of 11 individuals, but given these changes that the agency might have paid attention to fans’ complains.

There is a saying that goes ‘all good things come to an end’ and sadly this is Wanna One’s fate as well. With so little time to put out music, there is no room for missteps and —given how popular and successful they got in barely 8 months— expectations are considerably high when it comes to their releases. Maybe such crazy expectations are the exact reason why “Boomerang” comes out as a slight disappointment.

Wanna One have been considerably busy in several different fields of entertainment — golden boy Daniel is virtually everywhere on television— and perhaps priority has been given to activities other than music. Still, after getting to know their potential on Produce 101 and with brilliant releases such as “Energetic” it’s safe to say that they can do much better than “Boomerang”.

(Youtube, Images via YMC Entertainment)