Song Review: Victon – What I Said

After a Produce X 101 fueled boost, Victon have steadily released music and built a re-energized fan base. Sadly, I don’t think their A&R team and I have the same taste, because very few of their title tracks have appealed to me. Longtime readers will know what a stickler I am for “signature sounds,” and Victon have done little to convince me that they’re not just another generic K-pop boy group. New single What I Said falls into this same trap, relying on bluster and bombast in place of satisfying hooks.

What I Said is emblematic of so many issues I have with K-pop’s recent boy group releases. Its production is aggressive and in-your-face. Its rap is charismatic and exciting. But, where is the melody? Strip What I Said of its instrumental trappings and there’s just not much of a song left. The refrains are unimaginative and unmemorable, as the track too often relies on grunts and gurgles over sharp hooks. It’s not that composers have forgotten how to write a great melodic line. I just don’t think it’s much of a priority when it comes to songs like this. What I Said is all about attitude and energy, but those elements lose their luster if not tethered to a potent refrain.

On the plus side, there are elements of What I Said’s arrangement that show promise. The off-kilter brass sample imbues the track with a constant sense of tension, which helps the otherwise forgettable verses feel sinister and engrossing. The vocal layering on the “what I said” hook has wonderful texture. It’s just a shame it’s not in service to a more daring chorus. Overall, Victon prove that they can posture and pose with the best of them, but K-pop can be so much more than that.

 Hooks 6
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7


18 thoughts on “Song Review: Victon – What I Said

  1. My initial thought is that now they have really truly bailed on whatever it was they originally wanted to be. It starts early in this song with someone trying mimic that Jimin patented froggy croaky vocal sound. I also listened to a b-side “Flip a Coin” and “Circle” on a music show. “Flip a Coin” sounds like their audition reel for the Road to the Kingdom, the one that already finished. “Circle” sounds like a basic kpop b-side, albeit with a full choreo dance.

    I agree with Nick, it all sounds so generic and workaday for the contemporary kpop sound.

    I just don’t know. I really liked the “Time of Sorrow: from 2018, but not many others bothered with it, so maybe this is a good move. What do I know.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I just realised this is the same group that came out with Unbelievable, one of my favourite kpop songs.. unbelievable indeed. This song is so,so different.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I ended up liking this way more than the Treasure song, which I sort of didn’t expect. The chorus could’ve been a bit more… everything, but it’s not obnoxious in its repetition so I’m fine with it. I like their vocalists a lot, though, Seungsik has a really enjoyable voice which glues their recent releases together.


  3. This certainly isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, but it honestly might be my favorite of today’s releases. I have to say though, the interpolation of I Like It Like That by Pete Rodriguez feels really odd to me


  4. This song is not that great, but it’s actually pretty fine and neat. I didn’t find anything bad or weird on the verses, but the chorus… I have a lot of mixed feelings to the chorus.

    Like, that’s it? That’s the chorus? They could put something that could keep the it engaging, but nope. The song’s lucky the verses and production let me stay longer.

    At first listen, the arrangement was kind of a turn off for me. But I was finally able to adjust to it quickly. The same issue was also in mayday, and I don’t like it very much.

    Overall, the song’s pretty much solid, but not one of victon’s best title track (don’t @ me stan twt). Final rating would be a 7, a big bummer for a group that I rooted a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t mind it. I haven’t been in love with their sound since Nostalgic Night, which was one of my favorite releases in all of 2019. The instrumental is kind of cool, the verses are much better than the nothing chorus, the “I like it like that” section feels weird and out of place. I don’t really care about any of this because Seungwoo is so hot my brain stops working when I see him and I have to wire money to him directly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hey, I actually ended up liking this song, contrary to what I expected from the teasers and unlike the Treasure song that I haven’t even bothered with yet. Like, it’s nothing to write home about, but the sound has a je ne sais quoi that reminds me of all the “Latin hits” from the 90s/00s that my grandma used to blare from her stereo every other afternoon. Perhaps Santana too.

    Yeah, I didn’t expect that sound to be a fond memory either… 😬

    But anyways, it got me hooked much faster than Mayday, I guess. And for me it’s a rather welcome addition to their discography, considering I’ve come to relegate all post-Nostalgic Night Victon tracks to those times when I’m looking for that extra push to finally move to Heaven or something like that.


  7. I like some of the b-sides much more than the title track here (personal favourites are Unpredictable, We Stay, and Sejun’s solo Utopia). I agree that What I Said isn’t Victon’s best (at least not my favourite from them) and I kind of wish they’d done more of the Nostalgic Night kind of sound. That said, Hanse’s rap in this was incredible


  8. I really hate this song, I first listened to it and I thought its only redeeming factor was Hanse’s rap, even if personally his style/persona is not my deal, his rapping skill is amazing and i wish there was more of him in the song, I might even go back just to listen to him. Second, with the exception of Byungchan/Subin (they’re nothing special vocally but I love their tone), and Seungsik depending on the song, I really can’t stand their vocals at all. I never hear Chan, but Sejun just seems to get more and more nasal with every comeback. His voice used to be my favorite actually because I thought it was unique but the way he’s using it now is so weird. I don’t like Seungwoo’s very much either, I think he sounds like a less elegant, more warbly and confused Jimin, as an earlier comment stated. It’s so forced. Again, his voice in earlier albums was better. And aside from Subin and possibly Chan, no one suits this harsh dark concept!! They mainly suit like a moody, dynamic song like nostalgic night or eyez eyez… Also i’m sorry if this is worded like a hate comment, I do love the boys but I can’t stand what they’re doing with their voices and music direction, plus I talk about this on my instagram but i have followers who are massive alices and I didn’t want to offend them so I feel like I can vent here lol


    • Disappointment is OK. It is normal and natural. Example for me: SuJu 2yao2ayo from this time last year.

      May I suggest to pre-write all you just said in a word doc or the like, to get the angst out of your system. Then edit by at least half or more, and add humor. So you get the feelings out, but don’t have to leave a record behind of the rawest part. Unless of course that is what you want to do, in which case, have at it.


  9. I really want to like this song, but it just is not doing anything for me. I will always love Seungwoo’s vocals (they suit the style of this song very well actually), but this song is just…generic? Or at least the chorus is. I feel like I heard a chorus like this somewhere before. On the flipside, I also really like the brass sounds in the instrumental. That is the one thing that really stood out to me with the song. It gives the song a tango vibe that makes it stand out more.

    All in all, I do not mind the song, but I wish the chorus was something more interesting. Ideally, I would have wanted Victon to continue with the sound they had going on in Mayday and Howling. I prefer them with a grittier darker sound.

    The b side flip a coin is a lot more dynamic and much better on a first listen in my opinion. I almost wished it was the title track instead. However, I have yet to listen to the whole album yet, so the jury is still out of that one.


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