Song Review: Crush – Nappa

PSY’s new P Nation music label has been the source of much speculation this year. K-pop hasn’t seen this high profile an agency launch in years, and with YG Entertainment plagued by scandal after scandal, the timing is perfect for a new force in the industry. Add big-name stars like HyunA, E’Dawn, Jessi, Crush and of course PSY himself, and you’ve a lot to look forward to.

It seems as though P Nation was meant to launch with the release of PSY’s newest album, but that project has been postponed. So rather than open with a bang, the label’s first official release is a barely-promoted digital single by r&b crooner Crush. Now, Crush is hardly an unknown figure, but his music doesn’t strike me as the kind of impactful, big-budget fare that a more traditional K-pop agency might use to stake their claim in a crowded marketplace.

Like most of Crush’s work, Nappa (나빠) is more about tone and vibe than meticulous songcraft. It’s as pleasant as always, but not different enough from his past few singles. Crush’s melodies tend to bleed at the edges, nonchalant and somewhat ambiguous. In many ways, this is classic r&b. Performers like him naturally seek a showcase for a free-form vocal style. Their voice becomes another instrument in the mix, not always beholden to a song’s lockstep structure. But, as someone who loves nothing more than a sharply constructed pop song, Nappa leaves me mostly cold. Over a murky blend of jazz-infused hip-hop and trap, Crush riffs on the track’s titular hook, playing it loose while occasionally winding back to addictive peaks of falsetto. I can definitely vibe to this, but who has time to vibe when there are so many more engaging tracks being released each and every week?

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 6

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


9 thoughts on “Song Review: Crush – Nappa

  1. The best part about this song is the review of the song. This is poetry:
    “Crush’s melodies tend to bleed at the edges, nonchalant and somewhat ambiguous. … Their voice becomes another instrument in the mix, not always beholden to a song’s lockstep structure.”
    Nick, you amaze me.

    I think Crush is at the point in his career when he is doing music for himself, to make music. A few years ago 2015 2016, his songs were selling millions. He collaborates with everyone. He self-produces and releases a shed-load of music. He gets invited to be on all the big OST’s. This song is a little song, but he is going to be around in the kpop industry for a long time.


    • (oh no, replying to my own comment again)

      OK, I have listened to this song on repeat a few times now. There is a lot of really interesting melodic things going on, in a really quiet way. This isn’t a song that shouts out “hey, look how clever I am”. It just gets down to business and grooves along. I can imagine hearing this in a jazz club with Booker T on Hammond organ and Richard Bona on bass, or something.

      It reminds me a lot of the vibe of “Cereal” from last year which was passed over by the mainstream kpop world, but was really a clever little song with the lyrics. The song very cleverly riffed on near homonyms of cereal, serial, she’s real, see real, etc. The instrument suite was very similar in mellow vibe to this song.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love how all the main commenters on this site have their own little quirks.

        MYMAGOOGLE – Replying to their own comments. Also, the one taking the time and effort to comment on pretty much every single post.
        Xenoterran – Knows probably every kpop girl group that has ever been in existence. And, according to them, “going off topic”.
        JYHB – Alternating between sick burns and sky-high praise filled with music lingo.
        Katie – concise, honest opinions. The one I wish more kpop fans are like.
        Trolls™ – forever getting destroyed by the subcomments.

        Oh, should I be saying something about the song? Well, uh, it’s… pleasant. I’ve forgotten what it sounds like already.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Song Review: Jessi – Who Dat B | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  3. Pingback: Song Review: HyunA – Flower Shower | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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