Up10tion is a ten member boy group that debuted in 2015 under TOP Media. The group was revealed to the public in a parody show of “King of Mask Singer”, which helped generate enough interest that when their debut was released, it debuted at number nine on the Gaon Album chart. With a successful debut also following quickly in China, the group was poised to be quite successful, with their following mini-albums also charting highly. However, I have noted that the group tends to not do a lot of variety shows, so they remain a mystery. This is, unfortunately, not a surprise considering a “controversy” late in 2016 where member Wooshin was harshly and unfairly accused of touching IOI member, Jeon Somi’s chest, on a music variety show. Both Somi & Wooshin’s agencies tried to smooth the controversy over, including bringing in forensic video analysts to look at the tape. However, this did little to stop the barrage of abuse that Wooshin received, so much so that he is currently not promoting with Up10tion, as his mental health has suffered significantly.I hope that he gets the help and rest he deserves. In the meantime, let’s check out Up10tion’s new single, “Runner”.

Runner

Song

This is the summer of the tropical house influence, which I am a huge fan of, so when I heard the intro to this song, I couldn’t help but smile. It gives the whole song such a summery feeling, and it fits nicely into the current trend of summer Kpop releases. The bridge and chorus give a very different vibe to other songs in the tropical house genre, in that it’s a little more melodic than I expected. The chorus is solid, catchy, and very strong.

The lyrics of this song focus on being in a relationship with someone, and being able to get through everything, regardless of what obstacles are placed in the pathway, but only if it’s done together. The members acknowledge that life may be hard right now and that if you drift away from them, they will do their best to catch up, even if their chest hurts “from running”. The central theme of being able to face anything together is repeated time and time again in the song.  The rap section is done well, and Bit-to and Kuhn do a nice job of keeping the rap section cohesive with the rest of the song.


As previously mentioned, Wooshin is not a part of this comeback at all, but it’s hard to see the impact of his absence in the song. There are so many other members that his absence is covered well. I find that the song ends very abruptly, on Wei’s rap part, so much so that I find it pretty anti-climactic.

Video

This video is nothing overly unique or special. Its mixture of solo shots, with a group dance routine, is pretty par for the course, but I do like that this video is different to the previous ones that Up10tion has done. The darker feel to it reminds me of their debut, which had a very similar tone. They did move away from it and went for a “cuter” look for a while, so I’m glad they have moved back towards the more “grown up” style.


The video  has two sections: the darkly lit, with white accents, dance routine part, and the much more brightly lit, active “sports” section part. The members are appropriately dressed in outfits that match whichever part of the video they are in.

I enjoy the dance routine overall. I found it very interesting, considering that the group tends to use both the ground and above their heads. It is very dynamic and kept me engaged with it the whole time, which can be difficult at times, considering how many different choreographies I watch on a daily basis.


Summary

Overall, my favourite song from Up10tion. It’s interesting, it’s summery, and it has a super catchy chorus.The video leaves a little to be desired, with the whole thing being fairly by the book, and non-engaging.

If you want more Up10tion, I would recommend “So Dangerous”, “Come as you are”, and “ White Night”.