Every k-pop rookie has a story, but some are more off-the-wall than others. With the debut of new trio Honey Popcorn, we’ve got quite a doozy. The group is composed of three former Japanese AV (adult video) stars, relaunching their careers as idols in Korea. It’s hard to imagine this backstory flying in k-pop’s squeaky-clean atmosphere, and the girls probably know it. Their debut single, Bibidi Babidi Boo (비비디바비디부) steers as far away from the racy and provocative as you can imagine. And that’s not necessarily a good thing.
The phrase “bibidi babidi boo” should be stricken from the k-pop lexicon, as its very existence portends a sense of eye-rolling infantilization that rarely works in anyone’s favor. Thankfully, there isn’t too much over-the-top baby talk to be found here, but that’s because there’s not much of anything. The song is so lightweight that it’s rendered nearly intangible. Every element in its synth-sprinkled instrumental has been stripped of anything approaching individuality, resulting in the kind of track that simply fades into the background.
This isn’t to say that Bibidi is unpleasant to listen to, but it certainly doesn’t position Honey Popcorn within the k-pop world in any meaningful way. I’ve often said that today’s rookie groups have to go for broke and lay it all on the line. There’s simply too much competition to expect results from a song so vanilla. Bibidi sounds like GFriend robbed of all of their star power — an unfinished demo waiting to be polished into something memorable.