Song Review: KARD – Gunshot

KARD had an incredible debut year, quickly becoming one of the buzziest acts of 2017 and one of the few modern K-pop co-ed groups to gain attention. Since then, I’ve had a hard time connecting with their music. Too often it feels as if they’re twisting themselves into concepts that capitalize on a “badass” image, rather than embracing the fun, personality-rich sound that first brought them to fame. Gunshot is the latest KARD single to draw upon a darker palette, and tempers its emotional subject matter with by-the-numbers K-pop production.

The metaphor of words hitting as hard as a gunshot is tried and true, though I’ll admit I find it difficult to enjoy music centered around gun metaphors unless it’s done in a clearly cartoonish, tongue-and-cheek way. I appreciate the weight of the topics they’re addressing here, and I’m sure they’ll connect with many listeners in a meaningful way. The presentation isn’t for me.

Musically, Gunshot follows the same general path as the past several KARD singles. Its instrumental hinges on percussion, from trap hi-hats to thundering – almost marching band – drums. It gains steam and energy during the track’s final third, adding a welcome intensity that drives Gunshot’s emotion home. BM and J.Seph offer their rugged, imposing flow, but vocalists Jiwoo and Somin are the song’s MVPs. Gunshot doesn’t offer much in the way of melody, but both women deliver forceful performances that add quite a bit of drama to the track. Still, I don’t see myself returning to this song often. You’re much more likely to catch me enjoying Oh NaNa or Hola Hola for the hundredth time.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7


13 thoughts on “Song Review: KARD – Gunshot

  1. I really love KARD and I’m not as hard on their title tracks as you are but it would be so refreshing to see them go on to lighter material


  2. For me it’s the opposite haha, I liked BM and J.Seph‘s parts but Somin/Jiwoo in the chorus were for some reason not what I expected/wanted. It feels a tiny bit unfinished in certain parts or maybe even too processed. I liked almost all of their previous releases but this might be one of my least favorites unfortunately.


  3. I don’t think the main problem here is the genre they’ve chosen to try. That chorus is quite poor, the melodies in general aren’t strong enough… and at the end of the day that’s what makes the song fail (in my opinion).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Despite the very strong percussion and the obvious gunshots in the chorus, overall the song sounds like there’s a bunch of empty space and silence, which doesn’t really help me getting involved and sunk onto the music. It’s also kind of ironic with a title like ‘gunshot’. Though I don’t really know if I’d prefer for it to be a really noisy and in your face song either as it would simply be grating to the ear.
    Also, what I see happening lately in many of title tracks is the presence of a really strong and tight pre-chorus in the middle of a otherwise meh song, which in my mind is kind of strange at the minimum, probably due to the ocurrence of letdowns chorus or sing-talk verses


  5. .
    Oh great, gun culture, again.

    Oh, and look there is that rap triplet, again.

    It sounds to me like KARD doing harder and darker BlackPink. (Black Mauve?) The prechorus may as well be Jennie’s line. These kind of songs have so little musical content that it is easy to say they could even be in the same key, sure, possibly.


    • Why do we always have to compare kpop artists? literally this article Is about KARD, not Blackpink. quit bringing in other kpop groups that don’t involve them. ;-;


  6. I like this more than I should because it serves Kill This Love 5.0, an automatic win for me. Ever since KARD strayed away from their tropical toot-toot sound, they’ve been getting their songs right time after time. As much as I enjoyed their pre-debut releases Rumor and Don’t Recall, I don’t want them to ever go back to the trophouse days.


  7. Besides being a song called gunshot, I’m glad that they are not reinforcing violence, trying to look cool, but standing against it, for me thats not “gun culture”. I like they energy, how stong they are, and how much makes me want to dance and enjoy, and Its enough for me. You all are complaining with generic stuff like “unfinished” and “too processed”, sounds contradictory.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.