By Pen Fang
PIXY, a five-member Korean girl group, returned with their fourth mini album CHOSEN KARMA. The mini-album spans a variety of genres, showcasing PIXY’s growth and development as a group as well as their talent.
The title track “KARMA” is a combination of the preceding two tracks, “Hide & Seek” and “Flip a coin.” “Hide & Seek” is a funky, upbeat track about following evil whereas “Flip a coin” is a darker track about deciding the fate of said evil… by flipping a coin. “KARMA” puts the two together. The song features a quirky, jazzy beat with a playful use of brass. Despite being a mashup of two differing songs, “KARMA” flows fairly seamlessly. The members explained that the combination of the two contrasting songs creates a unique musical color that only PIXY can achieve.
“This track is about our destiny, which has not only been predetermined, but we are creating our own destiny, so I think this matches perfectly with the color of PIXY,” member Lola commented. Perhaps that’s what the beginning of the chorus — “I’ll decide your fate; let’s flip a coin” — alludes to.
Member Rinji further elaborates, “I think the main theme of this album is destiny. This worldview is also about PIXY giving the ‘decided fate’ to the Dark City and proving that PIXY is the ‘chosen fate.’”
The members also include their own names in the lyrics, sort of like little easter eggs for the fans. Dia, for example, mentions that she shines like “ a flawless dia-mond” and Lola’s rap verse concludes with her play on the Korean word for shock (놀라, romanized: nolla), which sounds like her stage name.
The fourth song, “Falling,” shifts in a new direction musically, taking on a subdued, dreamy tone, with fairy-like vocals. There is something about the song that makes it take on an almost angelic quality; perhaps the airier vocals or the higher register the song is in. Either way, in my opinion, it is one of PIXY’s best tracks to date. Lastly, “Whisper” is a calm, lighter track wrapping up the album. It is indeed very different from the bold darkness painted by the first couple tracks. PIXY’s versatility in music and concepts is shown off by this album.
PIXY also continues the storyline they’ve established throughout previous comebacks. They continue their dark city plotline following leaving the fairy forest, which Rinji acknowledges in an interview. PIXY’s debut concept was that of fairies cursed by a witch — causing them to lose their wings. They’ve expanded on it since then, dipping into darker horror concepts.
The members had their first comeback stage on SBS’s The Show, and they did not disappoint. They were able to command the stage and had a strong presence, which is even more impressive considering they debuted just last year. The choreography is almost hypnotic in its richness: you can’t look away, from the point move featuring the coin toss and the slower, sultrier moves in the chorus to groovier moves in the rap verses to more energetic outro.
PIXY are also embarking on their first US tour (titled “Karma is a B”) this year, with 21 stops spanning April and May.