Song Review: Kim Namjoo (Apink) – Bird

Over the course of the past few years, Apink have settled into their place as elder stateswomen of K-pop. While most of their peers have gone on indefinite hiatus or disbanded, they continue to reinvent themselves to great success. This transformation includes solo releases of varying genres. Jeong Eunji has been releasing her own music for years now, with Oh Hayoung following suit in 2019. Now, it’s Kim Namjoo’s turn.

Debut solo single Bird was co-written by the ubiquitous Soyeon (of (G)I-DLE fame) and tackles the theme of rebirth. However, aside from a few interesting elements, the song isn’t so much a rebirth as it is a reframing of 2020’s musical tropes. Tethered to a percussive, lurching backbone, the song enlists a few Eastern instrumental elements to help forge a character of its own. But, the production never catches fire. Its energy stops and starts too frequently to build toward any meaningful climax. I enjoy the emphasis on woodwinds, and even the cheesy bird sound effects. I just wish they were in service to a more compelling song.

Bird’s biggest hurdle is its lack of solid melody. Like too many tracks this year, both the verses and chorus are delivered in a sing-talk style, vaguely melodic but never structured in a way that feels satisfying or memorable. Bird’s chorus is quite lazy, hinging on simple repetition that never hits as hard as it should. For as many competing elements as the track introduces, the end product is quite minimalist. It’s like we’re only hearing part of the song, with additional layers missing. Bird is most fleshed-out during its synth-heavy chorus, but even here there aren’t many hooks to grab hold of.

 Hooks 6
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7



14 thoughts on “Song Review: Kim Namjoo (Apink) – Bird

  1. as one chinese netizen said, “as soon as the chorus it my erection (for this song) went away). i’m so sick of soyeon’s tasteless choruses. while i think this song will beat oh my god in terms of longevity, i’m not sure i want to listen to it again because it’s so boring.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While listening I forgot the song name and thought she was singing “I’M A BOY” and “LIKE A BOY”. I can’t unhear it now. However, I don’t think I will listen to this song again.


  3. I’m reminded of how you said personal experiences form musical taste and I think that’s what it is for me with this vs. YooA.

    A lot of what you compliment for YooA also applies here – venturing into a different style, execution, showing a different personal color – and for me this works and is far ahead of YooA to me (truly, I would swap their ratings) but I also must admit that the imagery helps divide them as Namjoo really shines here while YooA (yet again) and the OMG brand finds itself associated with what I’ll diplomatically call misguided visual and thematic video choices.

    In any case, loved this immediately but I can get why you might not.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know, I definitely don’t love it, but there’s something there. I think it’s her vocal delivery; it’s not too bland and she sounds pretty dedicated to the concept, and I think one can sense that even in the song’s most derivative moments. The instrumental itself isn’t bad, just very predictable and expected at this point. It would’ve been very interesting to hear like five years ago, but now it’s practically throwaway. People really do seem to like this style though, because these types of heard-before beat-drop songs normally end up to be pretty popular, at least when compared to other styles. There’s an interesting duality with Kpop fans right now where they complain about every song sounding the same but then make said songs the most popular.


  5. I feel like because of Soyeon’s popularity and stature by being in G-Idle, nobody has the balls to be like “No”. the more the song went on, the more I thought “please don’t be THAT kinda chorus”, I get there and I just let out this sigh…


  6. There must be something wrong with my ears, because Soyeon keeps writing and producing the very type of music that I do not care for.

    Also, I am so sorry to say Kim Namjoo does not make an appealing soloist. Just another insignificant Kpop singer.

    Liked by 2 people

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