Song Review: Cignature – Arisong

Nearly every song on Cignature’s debut mini album has a sound effect title, and that pretty much says it all. Nun Nu Nan Na, ASSA, Daldalhae, HingHing… we’re in full-on aegyo, nursery rhyme mode here. And, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. ASSA was a fun little concoction, comfortable in its own silliness. And if you’re a fan of Cignature’s higher-pitched, ultra-energetic performance style, you’ve got a new group to obsess over. For me, this approach is a major stumbling block, and blunts the otherwise interesting Arisong (아리송).

Sonically, Arisong has a lot to offer. Its kitchen-sink production fuses marching band beats with sweeps of synth and frantic electronic loops. I’ve always loved when K-pop goes weird, and Arisong has no problem stuffing all manner of competing elements into its taut pop structure. The noise becomes almost overwhelming during the track’s climax. There’s just so much going on. At times it barely holds together, and that cacophony can be enjoyable.

However, Arisong lacks two important elements. First, its melody is rather humdrum. With so much going on in the background, the song needs a killer hook to cut through the madness. What we get instead is serviceable, but mostly just the kind of chirpy sing-talk that’s better suited to channeling energy than developing robust refrains. Adding to this frustration, the girls’ performance is incredibly exaggerated. As long as Cignature continue to sing in this hyper-stylized style, I think I’m going to have a hard time connecting to their music. I get that the baby noises connect with some listeners, but I’ve always struggled with this approach. Given a more full-throated performance, Arisong might have been able to leapfrog over its melodic shortcomings and stand as a successful K-pop experiment. Instead, it’s too sweet for its own good.

 Hooks 6
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7


20 thoughts on “Song Review: Cignature – Arisong

  1. I didn’t like this one bit. I like cute songs like Twinkle Twinkle and Knock Knock but those have really strong melodies.

    Sorry to go off topic, but I was excited to see AKB48’s full discography finally put on streaming worldwide this weekend, and I noticed you haven’t really touched on any Jpop girl groups. I’d be really interested to see your thoughts/top 10 of some of the really notable groups like AKB, Perfume, Morning Musume, and Nogi.


    • I really do intend to write about more J-pop ggs. Of course, when I had all the time in the world (this summer), there just weren’t many ggs releasing mvs (still waiting for that Nogizaka46 mv for Route 246…).

      It’ll happen eventually 🙂


  2. I like it, but I agree that it would be much better with deeper voices, especially on the “rap” parts. A more mature vocal approach would improve it so much

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That seems like it will be the thing with cignature tho, the very high pitched and overly tight vocals. It seems to try to do what Saturday wanted (and couldn’t with D.B.D.B.Dib)
    with a very similar effect.

    What a shame, I quite enjoyed the other songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cignature might almost be my favorite debut group of 2020. Their productions are wildly experimental and pretty much completely avoid following any sort of popular trends – which is a huge plus IMO. ARISONG is not their best, and replay value is pretty low, but it carries on their wacky style. I saw someone has called them a low-budget Red Velvet, that seems about right.

    I don’t normally comment on the MV, but in every one of cignature MVs all the girls give off a really creepy vibe. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I thought at first they were just awkward in front of a camera, but by now they should appear more comfortable, but they don’t. Subsequently, I can only watch their MV via my peripheral vision – staring directly at it burns my corneas.

    Liked by 2 people

          • I actually had the same experience watching the MV. I wonder if this is due to directing choices or just strange editing (lingering on shots just a little too long) but it does come across as somehow awkward. I’ve seen this before in some lower budget MVs, but I’m not sure exactly what causes it either.


  5. Not as repulsed by the aegyo voice as many of you are, I actually really like this! The one thing I look for in a song is energy, and I love the busy instrumental. It’s great to hear something like this again in kpop. I want more of it!

    Now, though I don’t mind the aegyo voice {as} much as some, I do agree that a more mature singing style would have worked much better. Less.. baby noises, more Red Velvet.

    Liked by 1 person

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