“An Album Cementing Their Unique Sound”: P1Harmony's Killin’ It

For the group’s first full album Killin' It, they blend together different genres to make them stand out from other fourth-generation groups.
All photos: FNC Entertainment
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“An Album Cementing Their Unique Sound”: P1Harmony's Killin’ It

Among the swarm of fourth-generation K-Pop boy groups, FNC Entertainment’s P1Harmony sometimes flies under the radar when it comes to their music. With the release of their first full album, “Killin ’It,” the six-member group has made sure to make a huge impact with a track list that showcases their identity.

From the very beginning of the album, with the title track "Killin' It," you can feel the vibes that P1Harmony are known for. While the song starts with strong rap verses from Intak and Jiung, Theo and Keeho's vocals perfectly blend together to add depth.Surprisingly, despite such strong vocalists, rap is very much at the centre ofthe song, with a strong chorus that is catchy and impactful. It is a very different choice for a title track, but it will definitely catch the attention of fans, especially those who might not always like "stereotypical K-Pop".

The video perfectly matches the vibes of the song, creating something powerful but a lot of fun. P1Harmony are still young, and the different sets and outfits give off a playful and mischievous image of the members.

By contrast, "Late Night Calls"is a song that allows both the vocalists and rappers to shine within the same genre. From the opening chords, it is clear that the group is experimenting with genres as the song feels like a perfect blend of jazz and early 00s R&B. Along with the strong and powerful vocals, by letting the rappers use much softer tones and more melodic bars, it creates a song that is very easy to listen to. While much slower, "2Nite" also has a very jazzy vibe and softer melody. By focusing on softer verses to allow the retro chorus to shine, there is a uniqueness to the melody that seems different for the group.

With such soothing vocals from all the members, they are songs that would be perfect for an evening drive or to help decompress from a tough day.

"Everybody Clap" is another song that brings together different genres, seemingly cementing the identity ofP1Harmony. The repetitive nature of the words "two things" and the"clap" effects ahead of the chorus is the perfect prelude to a fast-paced and melodic chorus. While there aren't many words, the surrounding verses allow the chorus to stand out and seemingly create the perfect performance moment. Although the unique composition of the song might not be for everyone, it definitely stands.

P1Harmony made sure to also showcase their diversity. While being known for their power, "Love Story" is a beautiful ballad that still quintessentially showcases the group's colours. The falsetto in Jiung's chorus contrasts with Keeho's lower register to create a beautiful blend of vocals and textures, perfect for this kind of song. As the sole ballad on the album, it has a special place among the track list and has the potential to be a stand-out live performance.

The next two songs, "Countdown to Love" and "Emergency," have completely different vibes but work together at the same time. Both songs utilize sounds and melodies to create something deemed "standard Western pop" but, like the theme of the album, adds P1Harmony vibes with the rap and soulful vocals, to raise it to the next level.

Despite its "romantic" name, "Let Me Love You" is the perfect example of not judging a song by its title. Starting with Jongseob rapping, it follows the structure of many of the group's songs when it seamlessly transitions into a beautifully smooth melody. In particular, the chorus once again draws on R&B vibes, which allows the vocals of Keeho and Intak's rap to blend together. While constant changes of tempo can sometimes be too much, this song is the perfect example of different layers working together.

While not everyone is a fan of sound effects in songs, "Street Star", starting with the sound of a car engine actually fits perfectly. Unsurprisingly, the car engine transitions in to a fast-tempo song. Although it starts with two rap verses, Theo and Soul’s pre-chorus is the perfect prelude to an up-tempo chorus. Yet, what is unique is after the first chorus, there is a sudden drop in tempo. While it shouldn't work in a song like this, it feels unique as the tempo then starts to quicken for the final chorus. P1Harmony work perfectly with experimental sounds, and the producers deserve a lot more recognition for creating a distinct sound for the group.

Finishing the album with "I SeeU" combines so many good things about P1Harmony, including the youthfulness, soul, and passion of all the members. Surprisingly, it's a much slower song than would be expected from a final track, but it brings together the mood of all the songs on the album. It's much more melodic and even gives boyband vibes from groups like N*SYNC and Backstreet Boys. While it wouldn't be stereotypically classed as a ballad, it fits more with "Love Story" and wouldn't feel out of place as a K-Drama OST.  

P1Harmony is a group with so many different voices and personalities. Through the different songs, each member was allowed to showcase their own colours and vocal styles. While the Killin' It has the core essence of P1Harmony running through each track, it is also an album for even the most casual K-Pop fans. The mixture of styles and genres showcased the group's diversity but also kept the group's R&B nature. It is rare in fourth-generation K-Pop groups and shows an appreciation of the early 2000s with their melody and arrangements.

Killin' It is out now. P1Harmony can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and all major streaming platforms.
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