Review

Song Review: fromis_9 – Fun!

Up to this point, fromis_9 have established an upbeat sound for themselves, pin-balling between hyper-cute quirkiness and more refined dance pop. Last year’s Love Bomb melded these two styles to great success, but new single Fun squanders much of that potential. While I can appreciate its bonkers approach to pop music, it’s the rare K-pop song that actively repelled me on first listen.

As a dedicated K-pop reviewer, I did my duty and gave Fun repeated attention. Familiarity brought an added appreciation for the song’s unapologetic brashness, but I don’t think I’ll be returning to this regularly. Maybe I’m a grump, but I don’t find anything fun about being shouted at incessantly — no matter how enthusiastic those exclamations may be. Fun’s chorus is a jackhammer to the skull, at once cacophonous and melodically repetitive. To the song’s credit, it gives me a visceral reaction. I just wish it was a good one!

Within Fun‘s mile-a-minute madness, there are a few highlights. The melodic pre-chorus emerges as a needed oasis before we swerve into the song’s assaultive hook. The second-verse rap (positioned right before an unnecessary trap breakdown) rides the perky beat with addictive relish. Attached to a different song, the bouncy instrumental could have been a lot of fun. Its relentless tempo is not unfamiliar to K-pop, but feels like a good match for an energetic group like fromis_9. It’s like an electronic polka on crack, and should have been twisted in even more interesting directions. Unfortunately, too much of Fun revolves around that polarizing chorus. I’m sure some will love it. For me, it’s one of the most jarring and unpleasant moments that K-pop has given us all year.

 Hooks 6
 Production 7
 Longevity 6
 Bias 5
 RATING 6

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18 thoughts on “Song Review: fromis_9 – Fun!

  1. Idk but i think isn’t it too harsh for you to give them 6 considering you gave kill this love a solid 7? Well I still respect your opinion nonetheless. For me, this song is something that immediately lifts my mood. It’s a good embodiment of its title bcs it surely hella very much fun song

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    • I assume that my review will be just as polarizing as the song itself, and that’s fine. Kill This Love gets a higher rating because it doesn’t Kill My Eardrums. That’s all down to personal taste, but I just don’t like the structure or delivery of Fun’s chorus at all. To each their own 🙂

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  2. This song is definitely a bit too chaotic for me. I was taken back to the bouncy quirkiness of Lovelyz’s WoW! when the instrumental began, but that similarity quickly ended once the chorus kicked in. While WoW!’s melodic chorus blended seamlessly with its cuter and quirkier verses, FUN! just feels kind of disjointed throughout. I quite like the pre-chorus by itself, though, so I just wish that aspect meshed better with the song as a whole.

    (WoW! and FUN! are a heck of a chore to type out when your phone wants to keep correcting those spellings, by the way!)

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  3. So I, uh, actually kinda like this song
    Like it not Love it.
    It sounds like a proto-Red Velvet song, which in better hands would be a actual Red Velvet song – eg unexpected key change somewhere, better vocals, more harmonizing, some parts toned down so other parts could shine more, the sounds in the synth chosen better.
    It is also hard to listen to on earphones – very noisy in the middle range (even with the good earphones) – but works well in the car or kitchen.

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  4. My2p.. Given some of your previous reviews, it seems you’re not a fan of girl groups using chaotic themes. I’m not confusing “high energy” with chaos. You don’t seem to mind high energy, as long as it’s tied together well melodically. To an extent, I agree with you. There’s a line that can get easily crossed when you’re trying to create an energetic mood where the end result becomes a cacophonous frenetic mess.

    For example, You liked Elris’ “Pow Pow” more than WJSN’s “Happy”. You liked DreamNote’s “Hakuna Matata” over their debut track “Dream Note”. In both cases, the difference was how well the producers managed to keep each song interconnected and unified across all parts (i.e., verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, etc.) and how well the melody was preserved. As far as vocals, there’s “bubbly” and then there’s “shrill”. I think I’m a little more forgiving with vocals than you are, but I understand your points.

    So, I understand your rating for this song (Fun). For the record, I actually liked DreamNote’s debut track despite it’s hyperbolic enthusiasm, but I agree with your critiques on “Fun”.

    Note: I’m not anti-chaotic when it comes to music. A lifetime of musical meanderings involved large periods entrenched in specific genres that were.. ..less than generally accepted. One of those eras involved a daily diet of Zoviet France, Maurizio Bianchi, Konstructivits, et al. However, I’m currently in the K-pop zone and with that comes a proclivity for polish and precision. I’m not suggesting there isn’t room for indie or experimental. I like DALsooobin’s “Katchup” and “most” Hitchhiker offerings, but neither are POP songs. K-“Pop” is sacred. Long live pop!

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  5. This is a ‘fun’ song XD I actually like this slightly better than say, Itzy’s debut (the title of the song escapes me, this shows how much I dislike it)…

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    • That’s funny, because Itzy’s debut is probably my favorite girl group title track of the year so far. And (as you could tell) I’m really not impressed with Fun.

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  6. You’re right to assume your review of the song would be polarizing! I did enjoy that jackhammer chorus, though it admittedly has worn on me with repeated listens so maybe I’ll end up hating it eventually. For me this song is like the cheaper version of RV’s Power Up on 1.25 speed, but with an added pseudo-Joy rap section that I actually found myself enjoying, trap breakdown and all. Unlike RV’s Power Up, I think this song will be the opposite of a grower for me, but I’ll enjoy the acid trip while I can.

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    • It is like a song Red Velvet passed over before they selected Power Up. Or vice versa- the songwriters heard Power Up and said Hey! I want a Fun! song just like that!

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  7. Wow! My taste is usually similar to yours but not this time. I agree that this is an assault on the ears, but I absolutely love it. I doubt I’ ll still like it this much in the long run but for now Im enjoying it a ton.

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  8. Pingback: fromis_9 (프로미스나인) – FUN!: MV Review – TweetNewscaster

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