K-Pop and K-Dramas: Everglow as a Rookie Group

Promotional image of Everglow for ‘Bon Bon Chocolat’ featuring (from left) Kim Sihyeon (Sihyeon), Jo Serim (Onda), Park Jiwon (EU), Wang Yiren (Yiren), Han Eunji (Mia), and Heo Yoorim (Aisha). Copyright goes to YeHua Entertainment.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I apologize for all of the K-pop posts, but I guess you have a better idea of how I’ve been spending my time. As those of you who follow this blog probably know, I currently consider myself a stan for four groups. Those groups being BTS, ATEEZ, Everglow, and Rolling Quartz. While my attention isn’t completely divided between these groups (I consume WAY more content for BTS than any other group), I still keep up to date on all the news concerning these groups. I’ve seen a lot of people praise ATEEZ for being one of the most powerful rookie groups, but they aren’t really a rookie group anymore. Everglow, however, is definitely still a rookie group. Because of this, they are often compared to other groups like ITZY or even sometimes TXT. While I’m not a huge fan of pitting groups against each other in this way, these conversations have made me think of all the things Everglow is doing amazingly and some of the things they still need to work on. So, I’m going to go through some of my opinions about this group in as un-biased of a way possible. I can’t be completely without bias, but I’ll try to look at this objectively. Let’s go!

Vocals:

Everglow often performs with a track and lip syncs. I’ve seen a lot of people trying to argue that they’re bad because of this. A lot of dance heavy groups do this when they want to focus on performance, so I’m not going to judge them for this. They also sing live almost just as much, so it’s not like they haven’t shown that they can actually sing live. For this section I’m mostly going to talk about Mia and Sihyeon as they are the main vocalists for the group. Mia is the actual main vocalist and has a really strong and dynamic voice. Sihyeon also has a very pleasant voice to listen to because she has a very sweet tone. I personally love both of their vocals, but I definitely think they have room to improve. That goes for most rookie groups. I’ve seen everything from them being the best rookie group when it comes to vocals to them being extremely weak vocalists. People especially seem to target Mia because of the amount of lines she gets, which I won’t cover here because I talked all about that in a previous post. There’s a video of Sihyeon playing guitar while she and Mia sing acapella and I think that video was enough to prove their singing talent to me. I definitely think they have some pretty stable vocals performing live, which isn’t necessarily true of all rookie groups. But again, they have a bit of a way to go. This is absolutely excellent for being rookies though! I do have to mention here though, that Onda and Yiren are meant to be vocalists and the company themselves has talked about wanting to work on their vocals. They both have potential though and they might be great with a little practice!

Rap:

I think one of the major agreements everyone can come to concerning Everglow is that EU is an excellent rapper for this being a rookie group. Aisha is also pretty good in her rapper position, but EU is already great. She already seems to have a style that fits her well and she can handle a wide variety of genres with her rap. She even writes some of her own. There is absolutely no denying that EU is good at what she does.

Dance:

This is one that confuses me and seems to confuse a lot of people in general. The choreography for Everglow is pretty good, but they don’t look exactly cohesive as a group yet. This is something that definitely needs improvement for the group being so dance heavy. But I also have to raise an eyebrow at the status of Yiren and Onda when it comes to dancing in the group. If you watch some of the solo work that Onda has done, it’s pretty clear that she’s one of the best hip-hop dancers in the group. Yiren on the other hand is one of the most trained dancers in the group, if not the most, but she was trained for traditional Chinese style dancing. Her position as the most promoted dancer in the group as the center doesn’t quite make sense because that doesn’t necessarily translate perfectly to hip-hop. Mia and EU were also the only ones who debuted with dance videos and they are both excellent dancers so it makes sense that they’re mains. I just don’t understand what exactly is happening with Yiren and why they push Onda to the back so often when it comes to dance. These are just small hiccups in the long run, but I can see why people are confused. But you have to admit that them being a girl group to follow the popular guy group style dancing is pretty badass.

Music:

Everglow is definitely one of the rookie groups that is the most consistent with their music. If you listen to their full mini-albums you’ll probably like all of their songs to some degree. Their songs don’t feel like they’re there just to fill space and they all get stuck in your head at some point or other. The quality of their songs also means that you can listen to them for a longer amount of time. I am unfortunate enough to be plagued with on and off headaches, and sometimes certain beats or repeated parts of a song can trigger one. I don’t have this problem with Everglow. But all in all, it can be difficult to find a rookie group with such good b-sides. Oh my god, ‘Moon’ is so good!

Visuals:

I know this can be a large part of K-pop groups. Generally a couple people in a group are declared the main visuals, in this case it’s Sihyeon and Yiren. I am personally not going to comment on this. I think all of the girls in this group are equally gorgeous and I think beauty standards are always changing and never something to take too seriously.

Theming:

Their theming is ‘girl crush’, which is a pretty standard girl power type of theme. I’ve seen a lot of people call them unoriginal because of this, but I still think they put their own unique spin on it. Whether it was the brighter colored and sweeter ‘Bon Bon Chocolat’ or the black and white cyberpunk ‘La Di Da’, they don’t stick to one aesthetic or do something that is too done before. I also like how specific the messages in their music is; like leaving someone for making you feel small like in ‘Adios’ or not listening to negativity like in ‘La Di Da’. They still need to find their footing in creating something that feels authentically Everglow, but I like that they’re trying a lot of different aesthetics.

Performance:

I’ve heard a lot of people say that they feel a bit stiff live. Again, this is something that will definitely be addressed and improved on over time. Mia has the strongest stage presence right now, but as they all improve and change that also may change. For example, every single member of BTS has a giant stage presence, but this is after years of being in the limelight. A lot of people specifically point to EU for not emoting much, but she doesn’t look nearly as bad performing as people make her out to be. She just look serious, and I’m sure this will all become more varied over time.

Leader:

A lot of rookie groups, and especially ITZY, have been slammed for having the ‘wrong leader’. I generally think this is a bit ridiculous because we don’t get to see what happens behind the scenes. Namjoon is a very obvious leader of BTS, but again that is after years of experience and everyone has different leading styles. EU hasn’t really been questioned as the leader for the most part. Though she goofs off she has also shown the ability to handle difficult press questions several times to an ability that is amazing as a rookie leader. But again, every leader has a different style.

Everglow is an amazing rookie group! Sure they have a bit to go, but I think they’re doing really well. The music that they’ve come out with is an amazing quality and their performances are fun to watch. I can’t even imagine how amazing they’ll be when they have more experience. But for now, I’ll appreciate all the amazingness that they’re already giving us.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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