RIIZING - The 1st Mini Album

RIIZING - The 1st Mini Album

In less than a year as a K-pop boy band, RIIZE has built up a bright discography defined by smooth sounds and onomatopoeic hooks that express the group’s unabashed appreciation of pop music as metaphor—or, sometimes, pop music as straight-up subject. Their first mini album, RIIZING, picks up where 2023 debut track “Get a Guitar” left off (“You play me like dun, dun, dun/Still I love it when our eyes meet”) with “Boom Boom Bass.” The disco-driven explanation of the push-and-pull between two people doesn’t let the music-making fade into subtext. Here, the relationship itself is a composition: “We makin’ music/Every day we play … Don’t stop the music/Hands up on my bass.” Funky B-side “Talk Saxy” isn’t far behind, declaring to an object of affection, “Ra-pa-pa-pa/When you call my name,” and asking for more “saxy” talk. RIIZING’s other six tracks serve as a yearbook for much of what RIIZE has done in their busy first year. “Siren,” which samples H.O.T.’s 1996 K-hip-hop hit “Warrior’s Descendant,” was released in August 2023, just before the rookies made their official debut. “Love 119,” a soft winter ballad (“Stolen my heart, that girl's a killer/Love so good, feels like a thriller”), hit the internet in January 2024, with the sleek dance single “Impossible” (and breakup-themed B-sides “Honestly” and “One Kiss”) hitting in April. It’s the restless, synth-driven energy of “9 Days” that puts the flurry of releases that would become RIIZING in context: “Out of breath, but I'm doing my best/So that I won't regret.”

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