Review

Song Review: DRIPPIN – Nostalgia

Over the years, Woollim Entertainment’s music has proven to consistently match my taste, so the thought of any new debut from the agency is exciting. But though Nostalgia may be their first official title track, DRIPPIN are not unknown to the public. Every member except one participated in last year’s Produce X 101 series, with Junho actually making the final group. This gives their debut a certain level of notoriety – a benefit not always afforded to Woollim artists. But true to form, the agency hasn’t rested solely on that existed popularity. They’ve given DRIPPIN a great debut track.

Composed by the Full8loom team, who are probably most well-known for their work with WJSN, Nostalgia conjures a bombastic second-gen sound without feeling like a total throwback. After a brief flurry of distorted electronics, the track bursts into a sprightly verse. This segment could use a little more melodic punch, as it feels rather generic. But, I appreciate the sense of constantly-building energy. Though much of the instrumental pulls back during the pre-chorus, this moment employs a dose of overlapped vocal layering to give the track some drive. I only wish Nostalgia’s second verse leaned into some of the same tricks. Yes, the song treats us to that dreaded second verse trap-rap breakdown, and it’s as ill-fitting as always. I think this is a first for a Woollim boy group title track, and I hate to see them succumb to such a cut-and-paste trend.

However, Nostalgia benefits from an incredible chorus. The refrain rushes in with great intensity as the guys sing in unison. It’s a two-pronged hook, each segment as catchy as the other. And though the track doesn’t highlight any Sungkyu/Woohyun or Joochan/Y power vocals, DRIPPIN sounds great when they all perform together. The chorus crackles with energy, at times recalling SHINee’s funk assault (or if we’re talking newer groups, The Boyz). Time will tell if DRIPPIN lives up to the promise of this chorus, but I’m very pleased with this first step into the K-pop industry.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9

26 thoughts on “Song Review: DRIPPIN – Nostalgia

  1. This has been in my head for the whole day.

    but aside this , I think this is actually a very strong track and While hearing the track , I immediately thought of The Boyz here. I love the vocal layering on the chorus , and the production really seems strong here. The verses are super weak , though , I literally only waited for the chorus to come and that’s it……….

    But that ending is pretty good also and redeems that Trap Rap Breakdown or the weak verses.

    Overall , I’d rate this either a 9 or 9.25 , still don’t know…….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After a few listens, I determined that I am only here for that bass player with the kicking bass line.

    Other than that, I swear I have heard this song a million times already. I’m hearing a lot of Infinite “Chaser” influences in here, so I am not surprised that Nick like this one so much. For me, it is closer to low 8’s, not for the novelty but for the assured performance and high polish.

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  3. For me the song is absolutely awesome. It’s a 9.5 for me. Nostalgia is like a combination of Last Romeo and wannabe, like, the instrumental is like 2nd gen but it has a little edginess and that smooth feeling too. And I absolutely love how it goes into the dance-break part, cause this little break surprisingly climaxes the last chorus pretty well given that only ad-libs are added. I kinda expected a trap-rap breakdown, cause I had a feeling that they might include it to cause a sense of “coolness”, like the group’s name…..
    The album too, is really good with upbeat tracks, feel-good songs.. even if I remove my bias towards woollim groups, I would still consider this really good.

    Also Nick, on another note, I recently listened to Don’t run away and noticed that joochan’s and jibeom’s voices in the bridge sound really similar to those of Jonghyun and Taemin??!!! Like, I got goosebumps… Perhaps you had noticed it too??

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  4. Definitely going on repeat. That chorus is impressively catchy and the layered vocals remind me of old K-pop songs.

    I do wish they used the second hook just one last time at the end, and changed the dreaded second-verse trap breakdown. They were honestly doing so well the first half of that verse. Reminds me of when I listened to 3YE’s Like This Summer where the first half of the second-verse is this atmospheric backing before it just devolved into another trap breakdown.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Seems like they’ve got a really nice cast of vocalists. None of them immediately stand out to me, but none strike me as bad, either. Plus, like you said, they sound great in unison! I could act like that doesn’t immediately elevate all of my present and future ratings for their material, but I’d be lying.

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  6. It’s been a while since I disagreed this much on a song… It’s weird because, based on its influences, it’s a track I should at least like quite a bit but it really isn’t working for me. Everything falls short for me, the chorus is ok at best, the verses are weak. I’ll give it a 7.5.

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    • Same. I saw the teaser and was like, “Good, they aren’t going to be all serious,” but it fell short of my expectations. It may take some repeat listens to get into, but so far it’s not reeling me in.

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  7. The chorus really is the highlight here. It reminds me specifically of EXO’ s Love Me Right (apparently I wasn’ t the only one!) and more vaguely, of SHINee songs. I love it!

    Now, if we put the chorus aside, there isn’ t much left for me. The verses are a bit too generic and I am not happy with the second verse breakdown either. It does not help that their vocal performances do not seem very unique. Groups like Golden Child or Infinite have distinct voices that bring variety to the music, I don’ t quite hear that from Drippin (yet).

    All that said, this is a great debut and I am looking forward to what they will bring us in the future!

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    • Yes, one of the many things I love about Woollim groups is that they always have one or two incredible, distinct vocalists. Infinite, Lovelyz and Golcha all followed this pattern. I’ve struggled to connect with Rocket Punch as much as I’d like, and part of that is due to their vocals, which feel very “generic 2020-era girl group” to me.

      So far, I’m not hearing a real distinct voice within DRIPPIN either. For me, the closest is Yunseong, even if he’s not the main vocal. Time will tell, though, because I don’t remember being bowled over by Golcha’s vocals until their second mini (which seems crazy in hindsight because they’ve got a dynamite selection of powerful, interesting voices that I just adore now).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like this a lot as a debut track. It feels unusually bold somehow (maybe just in terms of the delivery/performance, not necessarily the quality of the track itself) in a way that is characteristic of a more established group. It suits them well!

    I also love ChaCha of course and I’m really happy to see Hwang Yunseong debut as well. He was one of my picks back in the PX101 days.

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  9. Interesting – I found the chorus really disappointing. The melody sounds half-baked to me, and I don’t think it works at all with the production. I just find it very… cluttered.

    By contrast, the verses are great in a very AB6IX way, and the middle 8 dance break is the highlight of the whole thing. I’m hoping it’ll grow, but for right now, I’m slotting it alongside Obliviate as recent Woollim disappointments. Stylish, but not for me.

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  10. Review gave me too high of expectations and made me disappointed in a song that’s perfectly fine lol. Closer to an 8/10 for me.

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  11. A little late, but I’m definitely more into this now. Replaying songs without their videos tends to give me more room to take in the actual song.

    The relatively weak verses still seem disjointed from the excellent chorus, which made me like it less when I initially heard it.

    Agree with QINQIN’s comment above about the bridge. It really gives the song an extra boost!

    The EP isn’t bad either. I actually like the very, very busy “Light” more than “Nostalgia.”

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  12. This is quite good for a rookie group! I only wish they looked as excited on camera as they sound in the song. I think that’s a stiffness that comes from inexperience, though, they’ll grow into confidence with age.

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