With over 2,300 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2015
I remember being so disappointed with Ring My Bell (링마벨) when it first debuted. Girl’s Day were coming off of an incredible stretch of singles from 2012-2014, and then they released an album half-full of previously released material, led by a messy, frantic title track.
Looking back, Ring My Bell is still a bit of a frantic mess, but it’s aged better than I would have expected. Girl’s Day’s most enduring songs buck K-pop’s girl group norms, and Bell’s hodgepodge of influences is certainly different.
Kicking off with a bluesy harmonica riff, Bell quickly moves into a cheesy DJ-led intro before its perky verses take center stage. This opening fifty seconds feels like classic Girl’s Day — fluffy and cute but with an undertone of sensuality. The aforementioned harmonica forms a subtle backbone to the melody, giving the track an unusual texture. And then we’ve got the chorus, which kicks the beat up to double tempo and introduces a brisk (some might say “manic“) refrain that is dizzying in its unrelenting energy. The instrumental becomes just as busy, stacked with spiraling synth, inventive vocal harmonies and electric guitar. Back in 2015, I thought the production could use some refinement. In today’s sound-alike pop climate, I kind of dig its brash kitchen sink approach.