Review

Song Review: Cosmic Girls (WJSN) – Boogie Up

I am of the K-pop camp that firmly enjoys artists with a signature sound. Cosmic Girls established theirs right off the bat, and have been deepening that spacey, synth-dripped style ever since. Whenever they’ve gone off course (the Twice-esque Happy and bubblegum pop Kiss Me), their music has suffered. So, when it was announced that they’d be returning with a (non-cosmic) summer track, I wasn’t sure what to think. On one hand, I love a good girl group summer smash. But, I didn’t want another Happy either.

Hailing from the same agency that gave us summer queens Sistar (oh, how I miss them…), Cosmic Girls were practically pre-programmed to deliver upbeat summer fare. And though Boogie Up nixes their trademark sound and essentially does without a chorus, its infectious groove manages to keep everything enjoyably afloat.

The track filters in with high-energy electro, pulsing on a roller-rink-ready disco beat that quickly becomes the star of the show. The verses follow suit, giving the girls a lighter makeover without totally abandoning the confident vocal style of their best material. The melody is brisk, powered by rhythmic delivery that mirrors an added dose of rhythm guitar as we head toward the pre-chorus. There’s a great build here, culminating in the song’s largely instrumental hook. Boogie Up would have been stronger if given an actual chorus, but its electronic drop is one of the most refreshing examples of this EDM structure we’ve heard in awhile. We do get a touch of added melody just after Boogie Up‘s climax, but it wouldn’t have been memorable enough to act as a high-quality chorus. Instead, the song focuses on energy over substance. That’s usually a deal-breaker. However, it works wonders here.

 Hooks 8
 Production 10
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

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17 thoughts on “Song Review: Cosmic Girls (WJSN) – Boogie Up

  1. This one is OK. It is mixed to be very noisy in the middle ranges.

    The part that irritates me is that prechorus – it is the fourth or fifth song this season that has that triplet structure with little second intervals. Think Kill this love – Look at me, look at you section. I think all these songwriters are lazy. They can’t think of anything else, and this structure emerged which can link almost anything because it has the wisp of a melody but isn’t melodic, and with a beat can drop into almost anything. To me, that prechorus structure is becoming the dreaded random trap breakdown infecting songs, or the jarring rap verse.

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  2. i loved it; not necessarily a fan of the processing on some vocals (especially the hook) but once you’re grooving along, stuff like that doesn’t really matter anymore. it’s just so undeniably fun and groovy, especially the bridge.

    more surprisingly, i genuinely enjoyed every track in the mini album! though none of them have that one hook or perfect chorus, i think the catchiest part of the entire album is how fun every track is. no ballads, no downtime: track after track, they deliver summertime and sunshine. amazing!

    ‘oh my summer’ has a great chorus, ‘my type’ brings jackson 5 and delicious brass, ‘let’s dance’ is over-the-top (especially the sax) but manages to pull it off and ‘sugar pop’ makes some interesting choices for what sounds like a filler track at first. i wonder what buried treasure you might find 🙂

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  3. Summer Song checklist:
    – High Energy: Check!
    – Playful: Check!
    – Infectious: Check!

    Yep, this one’s a keeper. I was initially jarred on first listen, but once I broke through the “Hey, this isn’t dreamy WJSN?!?” sentiment, I was able to appreciate it on it’s own merits on subsequent listens. I could end my comment here and walk away, but…..

    I wish Starship would find a more inclusive way to utilize ALL the members of WJSN. I understand wanting to use their best vocalists (Yeonjung, Dayoung, Seol A, and Soobin) for their robust dreamy tracks. Mysteriously, Dawon has been getting used less in those releases {grits teeth}, while Bona and Luda are, alternatively, getting more lines (especially since the Chinese trio have been busy).

    However, summer tracks are more forgiving when it comes to vocals. Why not take the opportunity to offer more lines to Eunseo and Yeoreum? Here’s how I think the division of talent should go:

    Dreamy & ethereal: Yeonjung, Dayoung, Seol A, Soobin, *
    Summer & energetic: Bona, Luda, Eunseo, Yeoreum, *
    * Exy and Dawon can be used in both genres.

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    • I used your comment as a prompt to learn more about Cosmic Girls vocal lines. Somehow, I found at least three vocal compilationson youtube, perhaps even more.(I also must mention that I am generally familiar with their songs, but not intimate.)
      Yeonjung – Girl can belt. Voice timbre is similar to a high school or college musical star, but not actual broadway star, which is a different league from Yeonjung’s skills.
      Dawon – imho 2nd best. Throaty, like a mamamoo, but still a soprano. idk why they aren’t using her more recently, not knowing the catalog well, but perhaps the cosmic girls are drifting to a higher pitch cuter sound?
      … like the sound Dayoung is perfect for. Cute squeeky soprano. Somehow hits notes well and on key, I don’t know how because her technique isn’t very supported.
      Exy is so versatile, they should use her more.
      Seola has a pleasant high head voice that goes well with kpop girl groups.

      As for the rest, well, frankly I don’t think they can all carry a tune. Even with a backing vocal track, they tend to drift off key, which isn’t that different from the typical gg kpop member in every other group out there (except oh my girl).
      But I do agree that summer bops are more forgiving in this aspect.

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      • I’ll be more specific about Yeonjung.
        Take for example the classic soprano musical roles. Maria in West Side Story – the songs “Tonight” and “Somewhere” both have sustained low B flats. And then the high parts are not just belted but resonant. Mary Poppins goes down to G in Feed the Birds. Fantine in Les Mis I dreamed a dream – “But the tigers come at night” is down to about a low E. Yeonjung has the low notes, but she tends to cut them off short after half a beat because she has no confidence there and tbh none of the kpop songs given to her require it. And you can’t cut off “to-night-to-nt”. It just won’t work for the song. She needs to practice hold and sustaining B flats A’s G’s for 3 4 beats. She can do it, but it needs a focused practice.
        Then there is the upper range, the D E F’s. Yeonjung has a good strong flat belt with no resonance, or a charming head voice for those notes. Either or. She needs to practice mixing the head voice into the belt so that it resonates, perhaps starting by mimicking the classic sopranos who do so, and then on her own. She has the pipes, but needs to practice it.

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  4. This feels like a girl-group “Complete” mixed with a little “Cry” by Stellar, and I’m so pleasantly surprised by how much I like it. My main gripe with Cosmic Girls has always been their (songwriters’) refusal to write more straightforward verse melody lines, and this is definitely as straightforward as things come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! The verses give me major Complete vibes. I wish the song lived up to that track all the way through, but that’s probably one of the reasons I enjoy it so much.

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  5. Pingback: Buried Treasure: Cosmic Girls (WJSN) – Oh My Summer | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  6. This must be the most Sistar-ish song from them (I’m not very familiar with them). It’s not bad, but their vocals are too sweet for my taste.

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  7. I love summer tracks and I don’t mind (a good) drop chorus, but after Cherry Bullet’s Really Really, Teen Top’s Run Away, and this, I’m starting to wonder if the modern kpop summer track has ‘drop chorus’ on it’s eternal default setting. Even though this track is completely written around its disco drop, a part of me still wishes the chorus could have gone with something a little less harmless. It’s excusable here (*cough* Cherry Bullet), but I just want a summer track with a chorus again!

    The verses for this song are really enjoyable, though. With a more memorable chorus I would have absolutely loved this. WJSN albums usually don’t disappoint, so I might enjoy this song more hearing it in that context.

    On a side note, every time the “boogie boogie up” hook plays I expect it to say “neon naui Violeta”.

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  8. Pingback: WJSN (우주소녀) – Boogie Up: MV Review – TweetNewscaster

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