Review

Song Review: BVNDIT – Jungle

Ironically, the BVNDIT song that’s stuck with me the most wasn’t a title track at all. In fact, it wasn’t even performed in Korean. February’s odd, lyrically cringey Cool wasn’t perfect, but at least it had a personality. Apart from that, the group’s discography has felt completely generic. It’s competent – as all modern K-pop is – but hasn’t offered anything we can’t get from dozens of other groups.

Jungle introduces BVNDIT’s second mini album, and once again pairs them with a big name production team. This time it’s MosPick again, who know their way around a great pop song. That greatness peeks through here and there within Jungle, but is undercut by a ho-hum chorus and general lack of imagination.

With the girl crush trend in full swing, we’ve heard so many songs like Jungle lately. Along with the moody boy group fad, “girl crush” is too often a case of style over substance. Jungle knows exactly which points it wants to hit, but forgets to tether them to a killer melody. Without this most basic of building blocks, it’s hard for any of Jungle’s charms to really land. Its rhythmic backbone is fun, and the percussion-heavy pre-chorus slaps with a welcome power. I even like the climactic dance break, which brings a middle-eastern flair to the instrumental. But stripped of this ornamentation, is there really much of a song here? It’s mostly just the girls casting off scraps of sing-talk melody that allow them to pose and look mildly threatening. Like so much of this year’s K-pop, Jungle feels like an empty performance piece, with little to lure you back after the stage show is over.

 Hooks 6
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7

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

12 thoughts on “Song Review: BVNDIT – Jungle

  1. Thanks for this review! Although it would be wonderful if you can embed the video from BVNDIT’s official channel instead. Thanks!

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  2. I am flattered that you think of my words before I think of them. See, I think it has its _charms_, especially the very interesting chords in the chorus. The melody hits as expected, but below it they use interesting dissonance with the chords. There is also that little middle eastern like curl synth break. Overall the impression is that it is like G-idle meets Everglow. I need to check out this Songhee – the one who sings the Actual Low notes in the first verse. But fie! on the engineer who processed the beejeebus out of the vocals.

    mho ranked a little low, maybe mid to high 7 for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Nope, didn’t make any impact.

    As for me Dumb is the song I remember the group for.. I still love to play that song.

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  4. I still think Dramatic is their best song, and I rather dislike most MosPick compositions (I’m legitimately surprised they did Let Me because I associate them with vaguely tropical sounds and telegraphed, uninspired chorus drops), but I like this a bit more than I expected. As pointed out, I think the dissonance/key change in the chorus is cool. It does feel a bit transient because the hooks aren’t that sticky but at least it’s engaging enough and not really a chore to put on. Kinda like the Rocket Punch debut.

    I love Cool and Children though. Was wishing they’d stuck with Vincenzo for the title, but as far as MosPick goes this isn’t the worst.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Songwriting problem: the song engages in tonal instability way too early into the start without establishing anything. While there is a brief minor period in the chorus it really shouldn’t be *there* and shouldn’t be this short. My thought on first listen to the chorus, maybe gigantically wrong though.

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  6. Not gonna lie, right around the twenty second mark I thought I was listening to a Blackpink track. It sounded like Rose’s voice for a good hot second. I’d consider the song itself alright if we didn’t already have dozens and dozens of tracks that could be considered reruns of the same sound. Dumb was kind of an odd guilty pleasure for me last year, but as it stands, this one’s just another song that comes and goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d also agree it’s a 7 but for a different reason – the hooks do suit what the song’s theme centers on, with it’s tension leading to the unexpected, but not catcy enough. The sounds and arrangement of the melody and instruments gets a turn-down from me even if this is more of BVNDIT’s style.

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  8. This song is so full of K-pop musical clichés I lost count. Could also be I lost count because I think I may have fallen into a stupor before the song ended.

    Really loved Cool. One of my faves of 2020.

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  9. The song is way too loud especially in the chorus, it reminded me some of the 2019 KARD songs and I didn’t need it. The first part of the first verse with the girl singing low and the prechorus are pretty good though but overall there is not much things interesting to say about this song.

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  10. I really wonder when K-Pop agencies will learn that there is very little room at the top (or even the 2nd tier) for groups that are copying the trends prevalent in the latest groups to hit big, especially when those groups are backed by a big agency. It feels like we are in a constant multi-way tug of war between cutesy, girl crush, teen crush, and sexy, but most of these “easy to slot” debuts/comebacks always come after someone has already done it better. Generally it feels like the groups that consistently do well more or often that not either elevate their songs so that even if they fall into a trend, the core is still built around a solid pop song, or they hone in on their own sound and either buck trends entirely or let them take a backseat to their trademark sound.

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