Song Review: Cherry Bullet – Hands Up

Cherry Bullet had a rocky debut year, kicking off 2019 with the popular Q&A but soon losing momentum after an underwhelming comeback and months-long hiatus. Making matters worse, the group lost three of its ten members. That’s a pretty big shift less than a year into an idol career. Still, it’s not without precedent when it comes to girl groups. What matters most now is the music they release. To put it bluntly, Cherry Bullet need a hit.

I don’t think that Hands Up (무릎을 탁 치고) is going to do much for them. Like so many of their peers, the song sees Cherry Bullet travelling down the trendy “girl crush” route. They pull it off more convincingly than many others, but the song doesn’t elicit much sparks. Hands Up heavily samples Beethoven’s Für Elise, which you will instantly recognize regardless of whether you’re familiar with its original title. I’m all for modern pop music sampling from the classics, but this particular loop is almost too obvious to work. Its repetitive use borders on cloying.

On a lighter note, Hands Up opens with one of the most unintentionally hilarious introductions I’ve heard in some time. To me, the production on this vocal riff sounds like an autotuned K-pop vocaloid quickly running out of batteries and flatlining. It makes me giggle, which probably wasn’t the intention.

From here, the track finds its mid-tempo trap/hip-hop groove and pretty much sticks to it. The vocal performance is solid and full of personality, but the song’s structure doesn’t give the girls much to do. A minute in and it’s basically unveiled all of its tricks, making the remainder of the track a more tedious listen than it should be. I kept waiting for the production to explode, but rather than offer a sense of genuine growth, Hands Up constantly retreats to its ho-hum chorus. This will probably be enough to keep Cherry Bullet’s career afloat, but it’s definitely not the kind of breakthrough they need.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

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13 thoughts on “Song Review: Cherry Bullet – Hands Up

  1. Oh man the picture you used threw me for a loop because I could’ve sworn they only had 7 members now but I counted 8. Spent a minute questioning reality and then I realized it’s just a pic they took with Jimin, lol.

    Anyway the song is fine, I love the beat of it because it’s something I can really nod along to but like you mentioned it’s a shame they didn’t build up to any sort of climax.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The majority of girl groups are doing teen crush and girl crush concepts right now, so personally, I think they should have stuck with their cute and upbeat poppy sound. I loved Q+A and even Really Really never gets skipped on my playlist. This song feels like it’s missing that extra impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “On a lighter note, Hands Up opens with one of the most unintentionally hilarious introductions I’ve heard in some time.”

    I feel you. I actually lol-ed.


  4. I quite enjoyed it. It reminded me a lot of GI-dle’s ‘Uh Oh’. I can almost imagine FNC releasing it last summer as a ‘follow-up’ to that if nor for some of the members leaving the group.


  5. It is like when you watch the music video, you feel it will be very heavy, fun or cute, but that music nowhere appeals with the music video. I am like they could have gone for same bubbly, cute sound or something girl crush even if that was bad, but they went all down, with really no sound identity, as if I can split them into two, I may here the music, or watch the video, but I can’t really see this going anywhere, what is FNC doing, they debuted so well, I really feel bad for them 😥


  6. The problem with this song is that this month there is a girl crush concept released each day every day, sometimes two a day. That throws in stark relief what songs have better or worse levels of production and song writing and performance.
    Essentially, it is a one hook song, sung without any harmony, with average production and a slightly cheeky dance and performance. That hook has a charm to it, but that is about all this song has to offer. Rating is about right.


  7. I actually thought the song was great! The edited-vocal-turned-Fur Elise is obviously a hook, but it took me by surprise in the best way right from the get go.

    I’m a little over the “Uh muh muh muh” and “Na na na na” bits in the prechorus. However, I do really like the chorus (especially with that darn hook) with its almost staccato(?) rhythm and emphasis on ”Ddak!”

    The choreo is also quite strong, and the girls don’t just have a “girl crush” concept, but a lot of confidence behind it. Perhaps the choreo and concept/styling are biasing me to like the song more, but I am a sucker for girl crush styles like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I totally understand you, I felt almost exactly the same at first, but after watching music show performances and therefor listening to it, I got hooked. And now I totally love th whole thing, especially the bridge!


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