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.
I still can’t help but find it so bizarre that after such a rise from 2012 – 2014 that practically put them just a hands breadth away from becoming a top girl group like Sistar, 2NE1, and SNSD, they all but disappeared with only 2 full comebacks in the past 4 years. Even knowing that some of the girls, particularly Hyeri, have busy individual schedules, the lack of group comebacks, solo or OST releases from Sojin and/or Minah, and a major absence of Yura just feels strange. DreamT didn’t properly leverage the group and Hyeri’s post-Reply success, making both the group and Hyeri more of a bubble than solidifying their place in the industry. They could have been such a dominating and familiar force after the disbandments of almost all of their peer groups. It’s a shame.
Yeah, a bit odd they more or less left the scene since Ring my bell, and even if they do a come back this year I would guess they more or less is over as a group soon.
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I noticed that you didn’t include this in your top 10 Girl’s Day songs list! Was it because you didn’t dicover its charms back then or the song is just mediocre compared to the 10 you listed?
Anyway, RMB is my ultimate GSD jam lol. The chorus is incredibly catchy, and I think the busy instrumental is meant to give the song a crazy vibe.
The instrumental totally kills it for me. It uses harmonica of all things, which is an instrument that I can definitively say does not belong in kpop (or music in general, but that’s just me). It’s just so CROWDED, and it really distracts from the verse melodies, which are actually quite alright. By the time it gets to the chorus, all my listening energy is kind of exhausted.
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