Song Review: Golden Child – Breathe

It’s very rare that I’ll write a “buried treasure” or “in-depth album review” post, only to have that song given a full music video and promoted later on. So rather than have everyone sift through The Bias List archives, I’m going to re-post my original review of Breathe today, updated with the video.

My thoughts on the song haven’t really changed since last month. I still think it’s absolutely great — a blast of fun that takes full advantage of Golden Child’s charms. The video, in all its Haikyu!! cosplay glory, is also a ton of fun and I love how it gives some spotlight to members who we don’t always see front-and-center during promotions.


Woollim Entertainment’s boy groups have a history of ending their albums with a big, satisfying dance track. Whether it’s Infinite (Shower, Zero, An Inconvenient Truth, Up To You), Golden Child (Sea, I’m Falling), or even DRIPPIN (Light), I love when an album ends with a bang rather than a whimper. And make no mistake about it… Breathe is definitely a bang!

Now, I do think Golden Child chose the right track to promote. Burn It is just incredible and showcases their talent so wonderfully. But for me, Breathe is a close second. It’s a great exclamation point on the album, and harnesses their bright, funk side without feeling juvenile.

Breathe is produced and polished to the hilt, but the arrangement of the instrumental gives it the looseness of a live band. Woollim’s acts often tour with a band, and that live instrumentation imbues their music with a different feel. Breathe breaks free of the rigid production that makes up many of today’s pop hits, and that sense of spontaneity is really refreshing. This is no more apparent than during the song’s explosive bridge. This brief breakdown is unbelievably funky, and gives Jangjun and Tag’s rap a delicious groove to chew on. A few well-placed percussive stabs elevate the second verse as well, along with a gorgeous, harmonized intro that lets us know we’re in for something more than the expected skrrt skrrt boy group dance track.

I also mentioned this when writing about Round N Round, but one of YES’s strengths is how it emphasizes its lyrical themes musically. Even as an English speaker who pays little attention to K-pop lyrics, I appreciate this attention to detail. Breathe’s ebullient chorus cracks open the track, delivering an ascending melody that really feels like the clouds are parting and we can all exhale. What an invigorating way to close out an album!

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.25



18 thoughts on “Song Review: Golden Child – Breathe

  1. Love the acknowledgement of the Haikyu!! theme – I almost wonder if this concept was inspired by the anime. The MV is amazing, it suits the song and satisfies all my bright Golcha cravings.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Don’t you just love it when something you wanted comes to life?

    I absolutely love this music video! It takes on a loose sense of fun, and I had a blast watching it. Breathe hasn’t worn itself out for me! That chorus is a big sucker punch, and I absolutely love every moment of it’s colossal funk prowess!


  3. Woollim has a family tradition of closing their albums with a stunner dance track. And thankfully, YES continues this tradition with the pop sucker punch of Breathe. Golden Child have always delivered some dynamic tracks which harnessed their aggressive side. Songs like She’s My Girl and No Matter What showcased the amazing potential, but Breathe tears that sense of expectation wide open! It’s the most daring statement the guys have ever offered in their discography and a style I hope the guys would pursue.

    Breathe starts off with flair, as the guys vocals layer over each other to create an ascending airy harmony. Then we are hit with blasts of funk before moving onto the song’s robust centerpiece. I always love when a song starts with its chorus, It’s a pop music trick I am very fond of and shows that the song is confident in its delivery. My heart had started soaring when this segment had came on. It’s taut, emotional and incredibly rhythmic! I just really love how The guys sing so forcefully here, It offers so much emphasis and grabs you by the jugular, refusing to let go.

    The pre-chorus also offers a breathless climb and I really love how the instrumental changes its shape but always retains it groovy pulse. Jangjun and TAG offer a fast-paced sleek funneled performance bridge. But the real star of the show is the explosive Chorus, I can’t praise how good it is enough. The guys pass off the lines so effortlessly and the instrumental weaves in different places for an extra layer of rhythmic texture. It all adds up to the song’s Show stopping finale. I really hope the guys would release this for a follow-up or have a makeover with the exact same sound. It suits them perfectly!

    My Rating would be a 9.5!


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  7. I made a playlist for Golden Child’s single run and didn’t realize how varied their run has been and the fact that every single track (except for Spring Again) has been a knock-out showcase for their incredible vocals and charisma is just…staggering!


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