Song Review: Highteen – Boom Boom Clap

highteen-boom-boom-clapK-pop debuts are a dime a dozen, and have been for several years. To make matters more confusing, they often have similar names. For example, Highteen are a four-girl pop act. But coming down the line, we also have the impending debut of Myteen, a 7-member boy group. It takes a dynamite song to etch into memory a group’s roster — let alone their image and color.

Boom Boom Clap (붐붐 클랩) is not that song, though it does have some positive aspects going for it. The strongest by far is the track’s tropical synth pop instrumental. The bright electronics and percussion give the Boom an undeniably sunny bounce suited more for July than these colder, blustery months. Best of all, the arrangement doesn’t merely steal from the tropical house trend. Instead, this is a more classic “island” sound, recalling steel drums and bongos.

Unfortunately, much of this goodwill is sabotaged by the vocal arrangement, which is content to force the girls into a shrill, cutesy performance style. This reduces the song to sounding childish and over-excited. The utterly obnoxious opening doesn’t help either. I imagine many listeners will be turned off by the first twenty seconds alone. What follows isn’t quite as saccharine, but the girls do adhere to the common k-pop trope of ending almost every line on an unnaturally chirpy upturn. The underlying song has a lot of potential, and it certainly sounds like they’re having a blast, but I can’t help but wonder what it could have been with a more restrained and mature delivery.

 Hooks  7
 Production  8
 Longevity 6
 Bias  6
 RATING  6.75

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