Review

Song Review: 1TEAM – Ullaeli Kkollaeli

It would be an understatement to say that 1TEAM’s music hasn’t been for me. I’ve been pretty hard on them so far, mainly because the bulk of their sound has hinged upon the kind of swaggy trap-rap I detest. But, last November’s Make This proved to be a grower, and teased unforeseen potential. Like many K-pop tracks this year, new single Ullaeli Kkollaeli (얼레리꼴레리) has a mouthful of a title. And thankfully, its guitar-driven sound pushes the group in yet another direction.

Ullaeli Kkollaeli repaints 1TEAM as successors to Block B’s freewheeling style. It’s a welcome diversion, and matches the group’s energy well. Right from the start, the track is driven by punchy, punky guitar that provides a great base for the hip-hop verses. I love the guys’ brash flow, which embraces Ullaeli Kkollaeli’s production rather than attempt to bend it in trendier directions. The same could be said about the chorus. While not particularly melodic, the refrain is noisy and rousing in the best way. It offers a refreshing jolt of rookie spirit. I think 1TEAM’s burgeoning discography needed this injection of passion.

However, Ullaeli Kkollaeli is held back by its excessive use of vocal effects. I’m not against the occasional, purposeful deployment of autotune. But, nearly every moment of this song is slathered in the effect. Stacked against the rawness of the instrumental, it makes for a jarring contrast that rarely works. This is a shame, because it’s easy to hear the song that Ullaeli Kkollaeli might have been if delivered in a more organic fashion. The constant vocal warping isn’t enough to totally upend the track’s appeal, but it does prevent it from being a real summer standout.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

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8 thoughts on “Song Review: 1TEAM – Ullaeli Kkollaeli

  1. .
    1Team, what a name.

    This has an old youthful energy like, as you say, Block B way back when or NFlying right after Yoo Hwe Sung joined. The song doesn’t do anything particularly original, but at least all these guys are not super highly styled with all the individuality groomed out of them. I am a pushover for these little tiny groups that are not highly polished. Its like they were deconstructed before they were even constructed.

    Who is the group? Have I heard them before? Ah, “Vibe” last year, that was one with the cute dance pastel colors in a pool, but the way way over excessive use of the bamboo synth dropping on the keys sound. Since I listen way more than I watch, I didn’t listen to that one much at all. “Make This” from last autumn is typical dark boy group theme these days. Ah no wonder I didn’t make much of them, then.

    So we shall see what happens next. This song, yeah I am a sucker for tiny group’s good songs, I’ll probably buy it, just because.

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  2. I have a lot of affection for 1team since I saw them on tour literally right before the world shut down. They have a lot more to offer vocally than this song shows (particularly because of the amount of autotune), but they’re a really smiley group so the concept is a great match for them. Taemin’s new song is more my style, but this is one I’ll be listening to when I just want to have a good time.

    On another note, I’m curious if you’ve heard Monsta X’s new TwoTuckGom song? It’s a really different sound for them, although it does kind of remind me of Newton.

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    • I like the Monsta X song a lot — love the retro vibes. I just wish that trendy rap didn’t come in during the second verse and totally change the aesthetic.

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  3. If they took off all the auto tune and vocal effects I’d like this a whole lot more, it’s fun now but it would be a total blast without it.

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