Song Review: Produce 101 Japan – It’s Coming

There was a time when I would have been excited by the prospect of a Japanese Produce 101 spin-off, but the series has reached the point of over saturation. I’m kind of over the whole thing, especially when considering the franchise’s effect on K-pop as a whole. But, like it or not, Produce is still a big deal in the industry. And, I’m in the business of writing about big deals.

It’s Coming sees the franchise’s tentacles extend to the J-pop industry, right at a time when Korean-Japanese relations have soured. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out, though I suspect the series will cater to its own audience with few nods to its Korean roots. The song itself is exactly what you’d expect from a Produce theme — all pulsing, high-energy electronics and anthemic refrains. There’s a comfort to this familiar template, though it’s starting to become difficult to tell these songs apart. For my money, It’s Coming is a slight improvement over this year’s X1-MA. Its arrangement isn’t quite as frantic, which allows time for the verses to breathe. We’re still presented with a wall of anonymous voices, making it hard for the song to forge any character of its own, but most of the melodies are nice.

True to form, It’s Coming climaxes in an overstuffed EDM breakdown, taking the genre’s electronic build to near parody levels. This production gets the job done, but still feels like a shadow of 2017’s Pick Me, which perfected this stadium-ready style. In the end, it’s almost pointless to review a track like this. Like fast food, you know exactly what you’re getting and your expectations have likely been set before even pressing play. It’s Coming is no better or worse than those expectations, which essentially makes it immune to critique. In that way, I guess the Produce 101 monolith has done its job well!

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

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



7 thoughts on “Song Review: Produce 101 Japan – It’s Coming

  1. Thank you so much for this lovely review! I agree though, the EDM breakdown is one and over done with and does nothing to add to the already standard fanfare of Pick me themes. I however think the verses are one of, if not the best the Produce series has to offer. There’s a sense of hope and excitement it emanates that last season’s Pick me theme tries too hard. Overall, it’s way more balanced out compared to last season’s overarching instrumental that doesn’t give it room to breathe; It in no way tries to make itself stand out too much as a pick me theme, but to me it has all the right ingredients to entice new viewers to the already steady lineup of pick me theme songs.


  2. Perhaps it should be called “Over-Produced 101”, but that sounds like a class dedicated to teaching the evils of market saturation; in the same vein as “Economics 101” or “Business Strategy 101”.

    Maybe shows will start to intermingle and we’ll end up with “Queendom 101” where every K-Pop group that ever existed will compete to cruelly Hunger Game the hell out of each other based on who has the largest cult following of rabid sasaengs.

    ..or change the title to “Room 101” {Orwellian reference}. A place where contestants go to face their deepest fears only to turn on everyone else and accept the rule that total obedience is all that matters.

    What started out as ordinary talent shows (K-Pop Star, Show Me The Money, Unpretty Rapstar) has morphed into Las Vegas production level spectacles that pull desperate wannabe idols out of the shadows only to bake them with a magnifying glass under a hot sun. Modern day gladiatorial combat with tears instead of blood where we’re all the emperors giving the thumbs up/down.



  3. OT, but don’t know the right places to put requests or comments on other songs. What do you think of “Kkili Kkili” by G-reyish? I listened to if for the first time and thought it was annoying by being too repetitive and high-pitch, but it wormed its way into my head and now I have it on loop. Is it just me, or is that EDM and twinkly background instrument just too addictive?


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