Mads Pae

P1Harmony Sets Themselves Apart With First Full-Length Album

Music Scene Media
Feb 28, 2024
3 min read
Photo courtesy of FNC Entertainment

KEEHO, THEO, JIUNG, INTAK, SOUL, and JONGSEOB debuted in 2020 as P1Harmony with vibrant, narrative-driven music that has taken them through six mini-albums, and put them in the hearts of many worldwide. Their latest, and first full-length album, Killin’ It, showcases the group at their best and holds promise for where the future of K-pop is headed.

Industries and individuals alike are striving to keep up in this fast-paced, oversaturated world with endless amounts of content to consume and be influenced by, oftentimes at the cost of authenticity. K-pop is no exception, with its plethora of mini-albums which allow companies and their artists to pump out new projects with extremely quick turnarounds and little effort. It seems there is barely time to settle into, let alone tire from, someone’s music before something new gets announced. P1Harmony brings a much-needed breath of fresh air by releasing a full-length album in the midst of this large absence of longer bodies of work. 

Their willingness to put in the extra labor required to make something unbound by the constant rush everyone finds themselves in is evidence of artistry. JONGSEOB has writing credits in all 10 tracks, INTAK following closely behind as a contributor on nine songs. KEEHO and JIUNG also have their hands in the production throughout the album. Their work and involvement pays off tremendously for the group as every song exhibits a high quality of production, vocals, and rap. Packed with variety and contagious beats and melodies, this era is definitely going to be a significant chapter in the group’s history. 

Reminiscent of 90s hip-hop, the titular track, “Killin’ It”,  exudes confidence. From the rappers’ rhythmic flows to the 808s, it’s a powerful introduction. INTAK casually remarks, ‘Surprise, you’re lucky to have found me,’ and in the chorus THEO proclaims, ‘I’m [a] Superstar, already know that.’ This almost flippant yet precise delivery serves as a message that they don’t need to prove anything to anyone. The corresponding music video is equally bursting in boldness, with its bright colors, fun animations, and synchronous choreography. 

Late Night Calls” has bossa nova inspired chords which build into a stronger R&B beat that recalls their previous single, “Fall In Love Again”, which came out near the end of last year. In the second verse, JONGSEOB pleads, ‘Don’t leave me in the circle’, which might be meant to cleverly conjure up imagery for the connection he feels with someone. At school, work, or other forms of community, everyone has found themselves sitting or standing in a circle with others at least once. Not wanting to be alone in this metaphorical circle that surrounds him and the person he cares for emphasizes the yearning in the post-chorus as they implore, ‘Just tell me you love me.’

The third song, “Everybody Clap”, is true to P1Harmony’s signature sound that fans have surely grown attached to, while feeling fresh and elevated with its chant-style chorus and high energy. It’s certain to also capture those who may have never heard of the group before with the recognizable catchphrase from the childhood song “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. Contrastingly, “Love Story”, is cinematic and really exemplifies the group’s vocal versatility. Soft and emotional, this ballad provides balance and impressively fits in seamlessly with the rest of the album. 

The second half kicks off with yet another sonic turn through “Countdown to Love”, a pop-rock and cyberpunk anthem. It’s a lively celebration of the power love has to overcome anything that matches their largely positivity-focused discography. “Emergency” is complementary with its grunge-rock fusion, edgy electric guitar riffs, and a catchy, descending pre-chorus. Both songs ultimately extend invitations to listeners to fearlessly face the world with them.

2Nite” is an alluring dance club song with a contagious bassline, synths, and sharp ad-libs that contrast with the smooth vocals elsewhere, emphasizing P1Harmony’s overall musicality. “Let Me Love You” has tight harmonies, reverb, distorted vocals, and layered tempo, all of which are elements of a fundamental pop song in this day and age. “Street Star” is an enthusiastic display of self-assuredness. From telling people to pay attention to them, to boasting about the loud cheers that follow them, there is no doubt amongst them that they have talent worth noticing. Finally, the last track, “I See U”, is a sweet R&B song dedicated to their fans, P1eces, who support them endlessly. ‘If I could look at you all day / I wouldn’t wish for anything else’; darling lyrics like this demonstrate that they are capable of being as sentimental as they are playful. 

It’s clear throughout the album that P1Harmony has passion and great skill for experimentation that makes them stand out in K-pop. Despite the diversity in sound, Killin’ It is cohesive, energetic, and universal. If anyone is skeptical about their ability, this album proves they are a 4th gen group to take seriously, and that they are leading the way forward.

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