If you haven’t heard of Romeo, it’s totally okay because they’re relatively nugu af that I’ve even lost track on them after I read about their Sweetune-assisted/Infinite-inspired debut via Arcadey. Like I totally forgot who these guys are and proceeded to other rookies like the amazing Seventeen and Oh My Girl.
However, as I was putting Bada’s glorious single “Flower” on loop over YouTube, the Related Videos section suggested that I go check out Romeo which I did because I remembered that I kinda sorta knew this group. I was curious as well if they’re still that Infinite homage boy group that they were last year (turns out that they weren’t anymore, probably because Sweetune is MIA). But that doesn’t mean that their comeback track “Miro” falls flat because it made me go back on to that small boat called Romeo again.
This time around, Romeo’s music touches SHINee territory which isn’t a surprise at all. I read over some forums online that their agency, CT Entertainment, is run by a former SM staff who turned out to be one of SHINee’s managers back then (if anyone could confirm this for me, thanks in advance). Minho is even on the video, so it probably is true. The SHINee influence, particularly during their Dream Girl era, prevails in Miro. The track is a consistently relentless funk-pop extravaganza in a way the Dream Girl was. At some point, you can even hear some of their members sounding like Jonghyun or Taemin.
The music video sees the seven-member boyband trying to break away in a sort of maze that Minho made by gathering random blocks which spell out “MIRO”. IDEK what’s that supposed to mean but I’d like to think that the flaming rap god is checking them out by reminding Romeo that they have the blessing of swagger jacking SHINee so they better recognize. I really don’t know. Anyway, it also features some tight choreography that goes pretty well with the song. It still screams SHINee because there’s a part where a member rotates his arms like a helicopter roter ala Onew in Everybody. There’s even some Namyu Hurt Locker bits in the beginning! My favorite part is that domino effect that they do before the song comes to a close.
The accompanying EP (available for streaming on Spotify) is quite good as well. It’s consistent with the bright and energetic sound that the group is trying to build. Recommended tracks include the intro which transitions smoothly to Miro (imagine those Nine Muses intros in their albums and you’ll see what I mean), the jazz-inspired “Hello”, and the vibrant, J-Pop sounding “Back 2 You”.
Overall, their comeback is pretty good but they’re gonna need to develop their individuality a little more so that they do not always sound like a tribute act to another sunbae. It’s a tough call but I guess all the luck be with them.
And while we’re at it, with the SM connection and influence, CT Music should have been the same as Source Music and Romeo should’ve been the male version of the rising GFriend. Perhaps a performance in a slippery stage during a storm would help? What’s a little flu over stepping out of nugudom?
Baby Umji agrees.