iKON have made their first official comeback since their smash hit “Love Scenario,” and the new track is the best move the group could have made. “Killing Me” is like the dark version of “Love Scenario,” with all the same catchiness (actually, more) replanted into a new vibe. While the rest of new EP “New Kids: Continue” pales starkly in comparison to the previous album, “Killing Me” is the perfect follow-up to “Love Scenario” because it draws from its predecessor without copying it.
What makes “Killing Me” so good is a constant tension between contrasting elements of the track. Typical of iKON, who are known for their catchy pop, are the simple, easy-to-follow, and often circular melodies that made “Love Scenario” dull for me. Here, though, those happy-go-lucky melodic movements are placed in a landscape of despair and minor chords, creating a sense of contrast that is immediately engaging and even a little unsettling. That contrast is doubled by the sudden dance break, which feels completely new and yet is technically a revamp of what preceded it: The dance break plays with distorted snippets of the hook’s vocal melody, and there’s something Frankenstein-monstery about all those broken distortions echoing in a compositional setting of minors. These moments of contrast and incongruence make the song feel different for iKON, almost eerie, when musically it’s not at all far outside iKON’s usual realm of operation.
The only part of “Killing Me” that I can’t get on board with is the sing-songy ending bridge, where the delicate balance between light and dark gets muddled and all of the drama somehow falls away. I felt the same way about the rest of “New Kids: Continue.” While “Cocktail” is fun and ballad “Just for You” has its nice moments, the album just doesn’t have the ability to sustain a listener’s attention all the way through that “Return” had. Still, “Killing Me” itself (if we don’t count Rubber Band) may be iKON’s best title ever, and this makes the comeback more than successful.
KILLING ME: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Bop.
Take a look at iKON’s “Killing Me” MV below: