Release Date: January 3, 2022
- See The Light
- WA DA DA
- Shine (Kep1er Verison)
- Another Dream (Kep1er Version)
- O.O.O. (Over & Over & Over) [Kep1er Version]
Kep1er is a nine-member girl group formed from Mnet’s idol survival show Girls Planet 999.
Their name is a combination of “Kep,” meaning catching dreams and the number one, representing nine girls coming together as one. It is also a reference to the planet Kepler, inspired by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler.
The members of this group are:
- Choi Yujin
- Shen Xiaoting
- Sakamoto Mashiro
- Kim Chaehyun
- Kim Dayeon
- Ezaki Hikaru
- Huening Bahiyyih
- Seo Youngeun
- Kang Yeseo
First Impact is the debut E.P. from this fresh-faced girl group featuring WA DA DA as its lead single.
Looking back, Kep1er is a group formed under controversial circumstances, similar to every other group from a Mnet survival show. In the case of Kep1er, it was blatant manipulation to vote in as many Korean contestants as possible to create a “global girl group” among a pool of contestants from Korea, Japan and China.
I still have a sour taste for this group’s formation. But I will put aside my personal feelings about the show and move forward with the group birthed from Girls Planet 999. I can’t complain about having more girl groups out in the wild, even if I disagree with the tactics used to create them.
When you break this album down, you have an introductory track—three revised songs from the Girls Planet 999 series and two brand spanking new songs.
WA DA DA is an incredibly safe dance-pop song. Given that Kep1er is an unknown commodity, there’s nothing wrong with staying on the side of caution and gauging reaction from listeners.
It’s essential to catch those who didn’t watch Girls Planet 999 since their ears and minds are not biased. With WA DA DA Kep1er has a chance at capturing the attention of those who did not follow the journey of their formation.
The song and its accompanying video check off enough of what appeals to the average girl group punter that it maybe gets the curious listener to stick around for the rest of the album.
If you happen to make it to the second new song, you’ll be in for a treat as it’s much better than expected. MVSK may remind attentive listeners of a BLOOMIZ era IZONE track. It surprised me since it didn’t seem like much based on the pre-release preview. But that’s what you get when you listen to a song in its entirety, lovely musical gifts.
The remainder of First Impact contains re-recorded versions of songs composed for Girls Planet 999. These are nothing new to disciples of Kep1er, and they would probably appreciate these revisions more than most.
Of the three original songs from the program, Shine is the one that fits the best with the two new tracks since it maintains the energetic feeling built up when played consecutively.
Why not O.O.O.? It’s nice but not as memorable as past opening songs for these types of shows from Mnet.
The only slow song on this album is Another Dream. Again, this probably has more meaning to those who watched Girls Planet 999. For everyone else? It’s a ballad. Take it in if you’re in the mood for a slow jam.
After the disappointment of the finale of Girls Planet 999, I was ready to write Kep1er off immediately. Although, I admit that was misdirected anger since I felt ripped off at not having an even split between three nations as several finalists would have kicked some serious ass if this was an indeed “global girl group.”
As for Kep1er in its current state? It’s not a bad start, and their new music could have been much worse when I think about it. I’m not all-in on this group quite yet, but I’m not going to ignore them either.