Review

Song Review: Golden Child – Burn It

Over the past few years, Golden Child have displayed a versatility in both concept and sound. This can be a dangerous road to travel, and oftentimes results in a hodgepodge discography that feels more intent on placating trends than developing a sense of artistic continuity. Yet, Golden Child have managed to forge an identity of their own regardless of genre. I think much of this comes down to performance, and that’s an asset that new single Burn It (안아줄게) highlights particularly well.

The song sees Golden Child collaborating with a new set of producers and tackling a reggaetón sound that strays far from last year’s Pump It Up. But, Burn It is a real showstopper, buoyed by intense vocals and a palpable sense of emotion. Nearly the entire track is driven by robust melody, which is exceedingly rare in today’s boy group landscape. This culminates in a whopper of a two-part chorus. Main vocals Joochan and Y take the first part, and deliver a transcendent performance. Their voices are produced perfectly – crisp and passionate and absolutely magnetic. The melody weaves in unexpected directions, tugging on the track as if it’s about to pull free and escape the confines of its percussive instrumental. How much I’ve missed these vocal-led choruses in K-pop!

This segues into a dramatic post-chorus chant, peppered with rhythmic repetitions of the song’s titular phrase. It comes together beautifully, providing welcome catharsis after Joochan and Y’s refrain leaves us tense and anxious. But the rest of Burn It is no slouch either. Its verses are rich and melodic, taking advantage of the group’s deep bench of vocalists. And unlike so many K-pop title tracks of this era, the song’s rap verse is placed for maximum impact. It ushers us emotionally toward Burn It’s finale rather than upending its second verse.

Like many of the group’s recent singles, my only complaint is that Burn It is just too short. It’s oddly structured, with an opening verse and pre-chorus that take up one-third of the track. This leaves little room for anything else. We only hear the chorus twice, and I can’t help but wish for an extended climax. But if my only gripe is that I want more song, I think we’re in a pretty good place!

**Also… that music video? I can’t remember the last time a K-pop video actually made me cry. Whether they meant it or not, the story felt like the perfect allegory for our global pandemic era.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.25

41 thoughts on “Song Review: Golden Child – Burn It

  1. It is a great relief that after so many spoilers, this doesn’t suck. Well, the video, I don’t like the video, both the theme and the awkward breaks in the middle and the end dramatic exposition.

    The song, well hey wow it is pretty good. More than pretty good. As we say often these days, it doesn’t do much that is new, but it does it all really well. Good performance, good production. Well done, Golcha!

    (related note – the thumbnail on your main page is not Golcha but some girl group)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Honestly think it’s overly generic, and don’t like the millennial whoop post-chorus at all. I think Wannabe is the better Latin-influenced song

    Like

  3. I’m glad you loved it!😀
    I also loved “Burn It”, but there is one track I’d love to highlight as well: “Breathe”

    Nick, I don’t know if you have listened to the song or not, and I don’t wanna spoil but I’ll let you know, it uses one pop music trick you are very fond of and also, It’s a dynamic sucker punch of a song! I really hope it might be a follow up!

    The rest of the mini album is no slouch either, I loved Milky Way, Round N Round, Cool Cool all make for amazing songs too!

    All of these songs are varied in melodies but offer perfect song craft which satisfies me, their best album since 2018’s Miracle.

    Also, No Diggity has grown a lot on me, I’d rate it a 9 now!

    Anyways, on to “Burn It”:
    I absolutely love the vocals on this track, Golden Child’s catalog of vocalists always left loads of dynamism and it helps elevate “Burn It”. The two refrains are anthemic in the best way possible.

    This is an absolute show stopper, and The third single of Golden Child’s SECOND Imperial phase, we just need woollim to add “Breathe” as the fourth.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I love that chorus. It’s aggressive, emotional, tight and hits like a semi-truck. It’s performed with such dynamism, I have the feelings of goosebumps whenever I listen to it!

        Also, I love how forcefully the members sing in Breathe’s chorus, Putting so much passion into that one centerpiece! And those verses are pretty rhythmic too! I desperately hope that Woollim uses it as a follow up, I can’t think of a better foil for Golden Child’s powerful vocals!

        Woolim! I know you are watching me, I beg you!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Breathe is amazing, I might even prefer it over Burn It. Would not have been mad if it was the title track! Cool Cool is my personal favourite but I don’ t think it’ s as objectively solid and varied as Breathe is. The showcase stage for Cool Cool though,, amazing!

      Also, great to see someone else mention that No Diggity has grown on them because it’ s the same for me! Not a 9 for me but definitely in the 8′ s.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love Cool Cool’s hypnotic hook so much!

        I think the reason why I want Breathe to be a title track is because it screams “Representative of a certain album” Cool Cool, Round N Round and Milky Way are excellent and they would make good singles, but they’d act much better as B-sides, whereas Breathe is just awaiting there, waiting to spread its wings and fly! I can also think of such a great music video!

        Also, The reason why I think No Diggity grew on me is because of the pre-chorus, and double tempo climax… I think it’s more in mid-8’s, not 9’s for me. That Devil album is so consistently excellent that It elevated No Diggity for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I completely agree. Cool Cool is not title-track material, it’ s too single-minded, has little emotion, it’ s more a performance/choreo showcase track. Personally, I like that – but Breathe does what a title track needs to. It has that beautiful chorus as a centerpiece and gives both the vocalists and rappers good chances to shine. It builds and explodes its energy where Cool Cool is more of a constant groove.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. “Nearly the entire track is driven by robust melody, which is exceedingly rare in today’s boy group landscape.” Exactly this! I loved the music video as well, I’ve been glued to the screen from start to finish.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You hit the nail on the head once again when it comes to explaining why a song works. ‘Tense and anxious’ is exactly what that chorus conveys and it is why that anthemic post-chorus works so well (and is my favourite part of the song!). It’ s like a group hug in the middle of disaster- the feeling of comfort despite pain and fear. That might sound dramatic but, like you say, it hits close to home with the current circumstances.

    Now I generally don’ t like moody music, but I think it is time to reign in my bias against ‘dark concepts’. Something about the slow, stomping reggaeton-type beat really opens me up to the moody atmosphere of the song. The whistle melody adds some extra melancholy. The production is interesting without taking attention away from the guys’ performance. Speaking of which..

    As per usual Y does a great job here as a main vocalist. He has the vocal tone and power to really bring drama to the chorus. Joochan’ s softer tone is less suited for that high drama (in my opinion) but he brings emotion to the quieter moments – like the song’ s opening statement- and he does it beautifully. My biggest compliments, however, go to leader Daeyeol whose line in the chorus impressed me a lot. We’ ve discussed his vocals being underrated before, and once again he shows what he is capable of. His voice sounds powerful, dramatic, the delivery is spot on. It’ s just one line, but he makes it impactful.

    Tl; dr – The first Golden Child ‘dark’ concept I am really into. Production sounds good. The guys sing great. Well done again, Golcha ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • MV thoughts: Yes, my eyes were watering too. I’ ve missed storyline MVs in kpop, and this was so good. Especially Tag & Joochan and Jaehyun’ s scenes hit me hard.

      Like

  6. This song rules! I was almost expecting you to review the music video and song separately…I do wish I listened to the song in full first.

    That said- yeah this is massive. It showcases the best of Golden Child. It’s dark but not overly moody. It’s overall just impressive.

    I couldn’t help but think — we are about to see even more of Bomin the acting star.

    Also this is just a tour de force of glory for Joochan and Y. They are just in another level of vocals.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh man, this may be my most favorite song from Golden Child! Sorry Genie, you need to rest for a while!

    One thing I could describe about the song is a straight, simple line. Though being simple can be boring, Golden Child managed to debunk that with a melodious and unique track, toppled with beautiful vocals. Really loved Daeyeol’s part in the chorus!

    My only complaint to the song is that it’s pretty short, and they could extend it a bit more after the bridge. They have an advantage there, but they might have missed the mark. But, at least the song ended with a satisfying (yet makes you crave more) end. Score and Megatone really knew how to play with the reggaeton genre!

    My rating will be 9.5, I’m too addicted with the chorus that I kept humming it since the album preview was revealed! Oh, and that music video was awesome! Man, it’s my first time crying because of a it, let alone a zombie one.

    Looking forward for the In-depth album review!

    *i might have used a lot of exclamation points but I don’t want to change that for some reason*

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Their most focused track in ages (alongside Pump it Up) – and, for that reason, I think it’s their most successful. Nice to just hear them sound great without a whole bunch of production hijinx complicating things (as much as I love that, too!).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Can’t believe I’m listening to reggaeton in 2021 but I’m all for it. Next time I’d prefer something more on the bright side like Pump it up, but I won’t complain about the concept if the song is such a bop like Burn it. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Long time lurker, first time commenter here! Golden Child has been on my radar since Wannabe. I’ve just started to really dive into them as a group recently and they’re already on the top of my list. As soon as I listened to the instrumental of Burn It in their jacket making video I knew I’d love the song. I’d also give it a similar rating, also with points deducted for being too short. I almost wish there was a second post-chorus at the end just to solidify the ending. The verses and rap are spectacular; I love how Seungmin begins the first verse melancholically and as the song progresses towards the chorus there is a buildup of tension that is released with the post-chorus.

    As much as I love the song though, I feel like this is a song that is catchy to the point that it won’t be on repeat in my playlist for a long time. It could just be because I’ve listened to the teasers countless times, but the reggaeton sound is very rich and I can already feel the song getting less addicting with each listen.

    The music video was wonderful (am I the only one wondering how safe it was to bring dozens of of zombie extras on set during a pandemic?) and I was surprised at how well Tag could act! His acting made the biggest impression on me by far.

    As for the b-sides, surprisingly, the song that I keep coming back to is Round N Round. Admittedly, the verses are forgettable, but the chorus is delightful. The upbeat house sound, combined with the melodic vocals, feels nostalgic in a way and reminds me of 90s Eurodance music — something we rarely hear in K-pop. Donghyun singing the first part of the chorus was such a good choice; he isn’t Y or Joochan level, but I don’t think any other member could sing his part and deliver the same emotions as well as he did. The chorus is also juxtaposed nicely with the deep house verses and prechorus which I find really interesting because in K-pop, deep house generally makes an appearance in the chorus. The instrumental break before the final chorus is also just. so. good. Cool Cool and Breathe seem to be getting a lot of recognition, but Round N Round is the song I keep on repeat.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad that you decided to comment! I’ll be interested in hearing how this song ages for you, since you mentioned that you think you might tire of it easily.

      Thus far, I’m the exact opposite. I’ve grown to appreciate it more the longer I listen, which isn’t something I really expected from a song of this style.

      Like

      • (Same user here, I believe I have to make an account to be able to maintain continuity in my comments and not comment as a different user each time haha. Couldn’t get the same username though.)

        So far I’m not growing tired of the song, but it isn’t necessarily getting better the more I listen to it. I’ve definitely already hit the “ceiling” of how much I like the song, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing considering this “ceiling” was already a 9-ish!

        Like

  11. You know, I don’t know if it was just me but when I saw the trailer with all the zombie gore I was hoping for a Back-esque orchestral intense song. I’m not as happy with this song as I would’ve been if Golcha came out with that kind of song. Overall Woollim really went all out with the budget for this MV. I sense a sequel coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This mini album makes me realize the things I admire about Golden Child. Most of all it’s their concept. While in earlier days they were brighter, I have always associated them with elegance. In fact, that is why I liked wannabe and without you. They both had this poised aura that was mesmerizing to listen to.

    I think this song also continues with a mature sound, but adds a lot of drama to it. (At least the music video adds drama, THATS for sure 😆).

    Because I prefer this slightly mature, elegant sound- I lean toward songs like cool cool and round n round.

    However, the most intriguing listen on the album for me has to be the opener “Yes.” I can’t put my finger on why it draws me in. But everything about it screams mysterious yet delicate.

    Overall, this album goes in a direction I can stand behind. 10/10 Golden Child!
    (Also I realized I love Y and Joochan’s voices)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the introduction is stunning. I love that Woollim still includes intros on all their albums. Not that many agencies do any more, and it’s such a great way to establish a theme.

      Like

    • Ooh I remember you saying this comeback might just seal the deal and make you a fan! I agree with you on the elegance factor. They have a certain class to them, everything they do is high quality – bright or dark. I always felt the same vibe from Seventeen, so maybe it’s just my bias showing..

      Like

      • Yes! It reminds of the class that Seventeen brought in their PRECHORUS of home run. Crisp, refined, and draws you in.

        As for my status as a fan, I think I’m ready to make a slow dive. I won’t rush myself because I want this to be as natural as possible. This album is the closest to my tastes out of everything they released so far- so it’s time.

        My first steps will be to learn each of the members’ names and voice textures/sound within the context of their songs. For example, Y’s voice stood out to me in wannabe even before Goldenchild was on my radar. Now I’m just gonna pull those moments for all the members.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sounds like Golcha hit a bulls-eye for you with this album, that’s awesome! I’m all for the ‘slow dive’ strategy, there are a lot of members.. it’s a journey haha. Lucky: most of them have pretty distinct voices 🙂 If you want to watch their reality shows at some point, they’re neatly categorised at golchaindex.com.

          Like

  13. I would like to add a fun fact in this review:
    Nick had started his blog in December 28th , 2015!
    Since then, there has been only one group who has gotten 3 “9.25+” scores in their initial reviews. That one being Snuper! “It’s Raining” > “Back:Hug” > “The Star of Stars”

    Seventeen was very close though, “Very Nice” > “Boom Boom” > “Don’t Wanna cry”
    And GFriend too, “Rough” > “Navillera” > “FingerTip” but Navillera and Don’t Wanna Cry kind of messed up that opportunity (even if they had grown on him)

    Anyways…. Golden Child is the second group to do this!
    “One(Lucid Dream” > “Pump It Up” > “Burn It”
    So that’s pretty cool!

    Like

    • I’m impressed you did the research to find this! It’s funny because some of those sub-9 ratings ended up growing into Legendary Songs for me, but this is a good way to measure enthusiasm in the moment. I was VERY enthusiastic about Snuper’s music and I’m VERY enthusiastic about Golcha’s run!

      Liked by 1 person

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