Song Review: Beast – Ribbon

Beast - RibbonI’m not gonna lie, I was a little worried when it was announced that Beast would be coming back with not one, but two ballad tracks. For a group that needed a bump after member Hyunseung left, I was really hoping they’d return with a dance track as epic as Good Luck or Shadow. But I’m happy that my concerns were proven wrong. If last week’s Butterfly was a beautiful taster, the dramatic Ribbon (리본) is the main course we’ve been waiting for.

To be fair, Ribbon veers more towards the midtempo than a traditional ballad. Its overall aesthetic shares much with their 2014 single, 12:30. But Ribbon goes further, presenting what’s arguably Beast’s darkest title track yet. This is accomplished, in large part, through the utterly gorgeous violin sample that weaves through much of the song. I’m a sucker for classical influences in pop songs, and this particular instrumental touch adds incredible weight and drama to what’s otherwise a pretty standard Beast ballad. But really, every aspect of the production is firing on all cylinders. It’s a surprisingly dense brew of instrumentation that seems to be on a constant build, cresting during the track’s chorus.

The melody is a bit more muddled. Beyond the “tie up a ribbon” refrain, there’s not much to grab onto, particularly on the first listen. This would usually be a huge mark against the song, but Beast is one of the few groups that can pull off this type of stream-of-consciousness structure. Little by little, the melody begins to grab hold, though Ribbon is clearly more about vibe and atmosphere than singing along. My hope is that they can merge this sound with something more uptempo next time around and truly reclaim their throne. Ribbon is an excellent step in the right direction.

 Hooks  8
 Production  10
 Longevity 9
 Bias  9


19 thoughts on “Song Review: Beast – Ribbon

  1. I’d disagree: the violin sample is garish and and possibly the worst synthesized string I’ve heard on a pop record. Other than that it’s decent, I much prefer it to Butterfly. Still like their uptempos like Shock and Breath better.


    • For what I’ve seen online, it seems to be pretty polarizing. I’ll admit that the first time I heard the song, I found the sample to be way too prominent in the mix, causing an awkward clash with the melody. It’s still a little dominant, but I guess I love me some synthesized violin, because I quickly found myself won over.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that I have to face the fact that I don´t like beast´s music anymore. I truly believe that , at this point of their career, they are actually releasing the kind of music that they want to and it has a level of quality. The problem here is that I had to make an effort to like this album, when I pretty much enjoyed most of their discography prior to 2014.


    • For me, their strongest material (barring Fiction) was released between 2012 and 2014. I think Ribbon actually fits nicely alongside that material, though the album as whole could definitely have done with some more energy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m starting to drift away from BEAST’s music now. It seems like their title tracks all have a similar vibe…like an overused concept, I guess. I wish that they promoted a more energetic track sometimes. I also feel like this song may do better in a different season. I don’t know for sure though haha
    I’ll just try to listen to the album a couple more times to try to make myself like it more~


    • Hahaha..just like coward person…you critics beast music like your are the awesome producer music in the world…If you dislike music beast don’t pretend to be beast music..make your own music and make it popular than beast song..coward


  4. Beast is still awesome no matter what…You all just critics them…they all work so hard to make this song…if you want a great song you all should make it yourself and see if you can make greater music than beast can do..


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  9. If your taste is for ballad, you’ll definitely love the album. Since I love ballad, I truly love this album. It’s for someone who can appreciate the concept of having a different vibe on a ballad song. It’s a ballad song that not everyone can pull off. It’s like crying your heart out. The recent generation prefer energetic songs now because it sounds fun but the quality and the lyric behind the song is not as emphasized in a ballad song. never underestimate the power of ballad song..


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