Song Review: Sunmi – Pporappippam

Sunmi’s comebacks are frustratingly infrequent, and usually involve little more than a digital single. But when she really delivers, the months-long wait is worth it. Pporappippam (보라빛 밤) pairs her once again with producer FRANTS, who has co-composed most of her post-2018 material. The two are a match made in heaven, especially when they draw influence from the 1980’s. Pporappippam does just that, offering a modernized take on the retro city pop genre.

One listen to Pporappippam, and it’s like last year never happened. The song continues right from where 2018’s Siren left off, delivering a blissful synth-powered beat with touches of funk guitar. I don’t know if it was intentional, but the synth strings that open the track remind me of the iconic introduction to Madonna’s 1986 classic Papa Don’t Preach. From here, the song is completely indebted to musical nostalgia, but it never becomes a pastiche. Sunmi injects her own musical personality most strongly during the standout pre-chorus, which has all the heft of Heroine’s drop without completely interrupting the flow of the track.

Pporappippam’s chorus is pure summertime bliss, chugging along with a breathy hook, sparkling synths and a welcome dose of disco rhythm. As we veer into the bridge, the track brings in filtered guitar, which is a gorgeous addition. Rather than act as a short-lived gimmick, this instrumental touch hangs around awhile, providing an incredibly satisfying set-up for the final chorus. Some may call Pporappippam needlessly old-school, but that’s its charm. The track has a sense of fluidity to it, free from the drops and breakdowns that EDM and trap have thrust upon the global music market. From start to finish, it’s an uninterrupted joy. Not many K-pop songs can fit that criteria this year.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9.25

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


27 thoughts on “Song Review: Sunmi – Pporappippam

    • If not the best song in this disappointing year.
      It’s no coincidence or suprise at the moment it counts 487.758 views on YouTube while Hwa Sa’s awful Marìa (in that typical annoying 2020 style) counts 656.336, being launched quite at the same time.
      We must resign that mainstream taste is definitely changed. But the good news is that it will change again, sooner or later.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Perfection.
    I love city pop and Sunmi as a performer is just so magnetic. It truely feels like a combination of Heroine and Siren in the best way possible. Things are finally looking up!


  2. No, I do not understand.

    Retro is good, I get it, but from my understanding of music either you progress throughout the song clever variations of material, or you present a repeated material that is truly gorgeous. This song is neither of these? The vocal timbre is not changing, and it doesn’t really work well with the lack of range with the top line writing. I don’t get it. Do I have to force myself into satisfaction??? I am very confused.


  3. It is a good song, it doesn’t really do anything much and isn’t really the kind of song that would stand out but since it’s 2020….I guess a 9/10 from me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I did not expect to love it as much as I did! This track also showed me that choruses that start with energetic OOH’s are 10 times better than regular choruses. Outside of the chorus the track’s production is magnificent. I love how it sounds like a soundtrack to a lighthearted adventure film and the guitar and symphonic elements in the bridge are SO nice. In the end it changes up the vocals and the transition from the regular chorus to the soft chant was pulled off very well!

    At first I read your review, and I thought it can’t be THAT good. I mean, I know its Sunmi, but 9.25? Really? Oh god was I wrong! That chorus has been stuck in my head for the past 2 hours and I can’t wait to see the music video.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Finally the summer track I’ve been waiting for! I’m a big fan of 80s throwback in music so this is right up my alley, one of my favourite comebacks this year so far


  6. Its hard to do this level of polish without screwing something up. We almost take this kind of song and this performance for granted. Oh, Sunmi, of course. Yeah, sure, sounds good.
    Yes, it sounds good. Good for her.

    Its a bit bland for my tastes and the melody does not have a wide dynamic range, but it is fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. that glorious moment of silence before the very 80s chorus… the reverb on the drums and bass… the dreamy synths and slight funk guitar… delicious

    i never get tired of kpop artists doing 80s stuff


  8. The pre-chorus scared me, I thought we were headed towards an instrumental drop chorus but this is truly great.

    One current music trend I won’t complain about is the disco one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. From the teasers I was thinking that Sunmi was going to try to do a cute concept and it sort of scared me.

    The song and video blew my mind. The “I’m tipsy…” lyric is gold as it shows that she’s a women and not a child singing and doing what her studio tells her to do. I’m blown away.

    This has saved the disappointing month of June and is honestly top 3 songs of the first half of the year. I don’t know if she gives herself enough credit but there is a reason why she is literally one of the only top and consistent female soloist in the industry.


  10. I’ll be the contrarian here… I really like this song – a lot. Sunmi’s Warning is still one of my favorite k-pop albums of all time. That said, I was really hoping for some musical progress, instead it’s just a rehash of the same Warning groove. I guess you could argue that if it ain’t broke… but I’d consider this an opportunity wasted. I’m still gonna enjoy the hell out of this song, but I’m hopeful next time Sunmi switches things up a bit.


    • Normally, I’d agree. But, we’re at a point with K-pop right now where a song like this (a streamlined dance pop song with an honest to goodness chorus!) is very hard to find. As a result, it sounds even better and more refreshing than it would in a stronger year. I’m all for Sunmi keeping the 80’s vibe until it becomes overdone. For now, she’s the only one successfully delivering songs like this.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree. Normally I would prefer an artist to switch things up a bit every comeback but for some reason I keep hoping sunmi does this same sound every comeback. She is literally the only one serving us some good old pop and that too so convincingly in an overly saturated with drop beats music market. Sunmi keeps my love for kpop growing


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