Review

Song Review: Rocket Punch – Bouncy

Though they haven’t made a comeback since last summer, the spirit of ITZY looms large over recent girl group songs. The industry seems intent on harnessing their boisterous formula wherever it can, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But not every group shares their effortless charisma, and it can be hard to pull off this style of track. Woollim Entertainment’s Rocket Punch could do with a dose of personality, as their August debut was as generic as it gets. Though Bouncy has its problems, at the very least it’s a much more memorable song than Bim Bam Bum.

Composed by the promising Code 9 team, Bouncy wastes no time unfurling its rambunctious energy. The bratty chant that opens the track will let you know what you’re in for, and whether or not you should keep listening. The following verse is powered by the same kind of catwalk-ready thump that made last year’s Dalla Dalla so addictive, and leads toward a satisfying build. Then we hit the chorus, and it’s pretty fantastic. Bouncy goes full-on synth-disco here, doubling the tempo as a crisp pop melody takes hold. It’s a refreshingly old-school refrain, marred only by its unnecessary busyness.

I don’t say this often when it comes to K-pop, but Bouncy’s issues have nothing to do with the song itself. It’s all about the execution. The vocals on this are… not great. That shocks me coming from Woollim Entertainment, who has always had an excellent track record in this regard. With Bouncy, Rocket Punch are fighting against the tide. The arrangement is overstuffed with shouts and cloying ad-libs, twisting their voices into cartoon-like personas that do them no favors. What a perfect song this would have been without over-caffeinated cheerleader chants and aegyo asides! I guess this is what passes for “personality” these days in K-pop. It’s a testament to the strength of Bouncy’s megawatt chorus that it works as well as it does.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

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18 thoughts on “Song Review: Rocket Punch – Bouncy

  1. It’s a big NO for me. We’ve gotten like, what, 3? 4? shouting song in the past week and I wasn’t impressed with any of them. Itzy somehow made it work, but so far, no one has followed suit. Tbh, I’m surprised I even managed to listen through the whole thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are a dozen or more reasons why I shouldn’t love this song, but to be honest I love it. It’s this year’s “Dalla Dalla” or “Boom Boom”. It uses every possible kpop girl crush trope, now with extra!! cheer!!!, and it all works. The bass line in particular is great because they chose one that itself has a bounce to the sound. I give it a 9.

    When you are screaming along on the road with the volume turned up (what, who, me?), you don’t really hear the quality of the vocals. To be fair, except for a handful of girl groups whom we all know, I don’t think Rocket Punch vocals are any different than the GWSN Weki Meki WJSN types.

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    • I’m in the car right behind you doing the same thing. Can’t quite get to a 9, though. Still too much shouting for me. It’s like the shouty bits of ITZY songs, but throughout the entire track. I could actually see this growing, though. It’s got such good energy.

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        • That sounds like two different songs in one: an awesome kicking chorus, and throughly forgettable verses featuring that overused bamboo synth sound.

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          • Honestly, I agree. But the chorus is so addictive that it pretty much redeems the rest of the song for me. I wish they had actually capitalised on the “groovy” vibes of the chorus and made verses that matched the chorus. You know, like ‘Vogue’ by OH MY GIRL?

            P.S: There’s just something “off” with Rocket Punch’s discography. I listened to their album and I pretty much skipped most songs except the title track and ‘So Solo’. I own a physical copy of Golden Child’s Reboot and can listen to the entire album every day, which says a lot about the quality of their discography compared to Rocket Punch. Same with Lovelyz and Infinite to be honest. I wish Woollim wouldn’t be afraid of giving them more unique sounds instead of catering to trends, because I can’t bear to imagine what would happen to Rocket Punch’s music if trap beats and autotune become the music industry’s signature sound.

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    • To be fair to WJSN, they do have some good vocals in the troupe, but they get used to sing in peppy aegyo mode. I know that’s like saying: “‘so and so’ is a great flautist when they’re not playing the kazoo”, but you get my meaning.

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  3. Im just glad that the chorus is an actual chorus and not just a beat drop. Although their last song had a beat drop but then there was a second part that was singing.

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  4. This is another high energy song to accompany an already early year start for frenetic GG releases. But this song has something every other song could use more of; clarity. It’s a very clean production. You can pick out each instrument because they are not being all moshed together into a chaotic kluge of noise. Additionally, the singing isn’t competing for attention against the music.

    While it borrows the ‘theme’ of high energy, it doesn’t copy specific parts of other songs (which is starting to happen a lot lately). However, it doesn’t really invent anything either. It doesn’t break new ground, but that’s okay. It’s a fun song that gets your toes tapping. Sometimes, that’s all a song needs to do.

    My final 2p.. ..me likey.

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