Song Review: Winner – Ah Yeah

When Winner first debuted in 2014, they seemed poised to become YG Entertainment’s answer to K-pop’s more “grown up” side – not exclusively ballad-centered, but not striving to compete with teenage hip-hop either. A lot has changed since then, and ever since 2017’s mega-hit Really Really it seems like the group has been stuck in a cycle of either following trends or trying to usher in new ones. Obviously, trendiness is the name of the game for an industry as fast-moving as K-pop, but I hate to see Winner succumb to style over substance.

The group’s 2018 material didn’t do much for me. Even the tropical Millions proved to be a quick fader. New single Ah Yeah (아예) doesn’t get everything right, but its reliance on sticky, sing-song hooks feels less try-hard than a trend-bating song like Everyday. I’m not completely sold on the chorus, which rides on a melody that feels too juvenile and one-note for a group like Winner, but I’m all about the shout-it-out punctuations of “ah yeah!” at its end. Yay for more upbeat musical trends in 2019’s boy group releases!

Ah Yeah’s biggest and best moment is its rousing pre-chorus. The percussion pops like fireworks here, supporting a galvanizing refrain that builds anticipation before crashing into the ho-hum hook that follows. As usual, Seungyoon’s gritty vocals are an absolute pleasure, bringing a rock-tinged edge to a song that’s otherwise pretty generic. The rest of the members’ delivery is a little too affected — an issue that’s plagued much of Winner’s work over the past two years. A song like Ah Yeah shouldn’t feel like it’s trying too hard to seem cool, and I’d much prefer that the group perform in cadences that sounded more natural. Even so, Ah Yeah should age well as the summer heats up. It’s an earworm for sure, and bounces on enough good energy to keep it aloft.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25



11 thoughts on “Song Review: Winner – Ah Yeah

  1. And FINALLY we have a good remix in KPop! The new version of Everyday in the ep is “verivery” nice, and so is the b-side Mola. Winner’s sound is almost always-the-same, but I quite like it.


  2. Its a hot mess of a loosey goosey song, and its all good as long as you don’t think too hard about it.

    Rating is about right.


  3. I’m honestly a little sad to see Winner’s music fall into this category of music, especially when Seungyoon is a rock fan himself. Maybe it was Nam Taehyun’s influence (he’s certainly been delivering on the rock n roll front – his Somebody to Love cover was fantastic) but their older output was much more my style. It says a lot that I’m constantly going back to a song like Sentimental and I like to pretend Everyday doesn’t exist. This song doesn’t do much for me, in fact, I haven’t had the urge to replay it at all. It sounds like anyone could have released it, which is such a shame because Winner had found a good niche before they decided to follow the trends.


    • Same here. Seungyoon was a solo artiste before he became Winner’s leader. His solo songs are what made me a fan. I just don’t understand how his songwriting skills…. became so…. average or even subpar,

      P/S In my opinion, Mola is more enjoyable than Ah Yeah.


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