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Review: VIXX's Contribution To 'Moorim School' Soundtrack 'Alive' Mixes Strings And EDM Beats To Create A Unique Mood [AUDIO]

By John Chiaverina | January 22, 2016 01:24 PM EST


Hot on the heels of their 2nd full length "Chained Up," South Korean boy band VIXX is once again in the spotlight with their single "Alive." Released on Monday, the track is featured on the original soundtrack to the South Korean television program "Moorim School."

"Alive" fuses cinematic strings and pianos with banging EDM trap drums and rave synths, all flanked by an anthemic chorus that compliments the very onscreen drama that it is soundtracking.

Produced by the music duo Iconic Sounds, the track kicks off in a naturally dramatic fashion. Tense strings collide headfirst with hard drums and laser-fried synths. From here, the drums temporarily drop out, leading everything into a melancholy piano run that then proceeds to drive straight into the first big chorus. The melding of these high-budget symphonic elements with a very contemporary rap and electronic dance music (EDM)-influenced sound palate is really what makes this track come, well, alive.

There is something widescreen about Iconic Sounds' production effort. When put together with smooth, polished K-pop vocals of VIXX, you got yourself something like an audio movie. A sung verse makes way for a rapped pre-chorus before hitting back into the big hook. An earworm of a post-chorus takes the energy higher, but in some ways, everything is really building up to the breakdown.

The track's symphonic breakdown gets cut with a distorted vocal and slow build up before a wash of synth white noise propels everything into the final chorus.Kick drums threaten to go double-time, but never fully do, a nice trick to keep the energy up. Guitars wail heroically.

As I mentioned, this song is a movie.

"Alive" ends as it begins, with an outro that retains some of the organic tension of the intro, all menacing synths and hard drum machine claps. The ending plays out like a musical question mark, or, even better, a musical cliffhanger. Does it make me want to stay tuned to channel VIXX? No doubt.

"Alive" has been the soundtrack to the end credits featured in several episodes of "Moorim School." This makes sense, considering the instrumentation and anthemic-yet-moody feeling of the song. "Alive" effectively serves it's purpose as part of the show's larger narrative, but it also tells a pretty good story all on its own.

Watch the music video for "Alive" from the South Korean TV drama "Moorim School" by K-pop boy band VIXX RIGHT HERE

John Chiaverina is a musician and journalist living in New York City. He has performed in over 18 countries, including two tours of South Korea, under the name "Juiceboxxx."  

Tagged :  VIXX, The Moorim School, Alive, review, Reviews, vixx comeback, K-Pop, kpop


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