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Song Review: ARTMS – Virtual Angel


ARTMS have spent the past two months unveiling track after track from their debut album. To fully enjoy these pre-releases, it’s often felt like a doctorate in post-LOONA lore has been necessary. Most relied more on worldbuilding than nuts-and-bolts, satisfying song construction. But with Virtual Angel, ARTMS may finally have opened their world to the uninitiated. After all, title tracks are meant to capture the widest possible audience, right?

By all accounts, Virtual Angel succeeds at this aim. It’s nothing revolutionary or even gripping, but its pleasant synthwave breeze makes for a satisfying treat. The word “aesthetic” is often incorrectly used as an adjective, but it certainly describes what’s going on here. Alongside a distractingly edited music video (seriously, that thing is hard to watch!), the song wrings more from its airy texture and bubbly synths than the melody or performance. As with so many current K-pop tracks, I crave a gutsier performance. Don’t whisper-sing… put your whole soul into it!

More contrast throughout the track would have helped to highlight its strengths. The wispy post-chorus vocal is gorgeous, but could have become a total showstopper after a bolder chorus whose arrangement didn’t feel so empty. When you’re serving a steady stream of air, you risk vaporization. Virtual Angel is grounded by a few great melodies and elevated by its artistic approach. It’s definitely the best thing ARTMS have released so far, but could have been a true stunner with a more dynamic identity.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

Grade: B

Tags: artms, k-pop, kpop, rating 8, review. Bookmark the permalink.



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