Review

Song Review: iKON – Why Why Why

iKON will soon be participating in MNET’s Kingdom series – the second most senior act to do so. It’s hard to believe these guys debuted almost six years ago. A pair of long hiatuses have made their career arc feel both shorter and longer than it is, and I’m hoping that Kingdom can garner them renewed attention. Before that, they’ve unveiled new digital single Why Why Why (왜왜왜).

For whatever reason, I’d expected this song to be a straightforward ballad. So when its pulsing dance beat came in, I was pleasantly surprised. However, the instrumental feels as if it’s missing something. I enjoy its pace, energy and drive, but its lack of individual character almost has it feeling like stock music. Maybe I’ve just become too used to K-pop tracks with overly noisy production!

Luckily, Why Why Why harnesses those angsty, lovelorn melodic turns that have powered so many great YG Entertainment ballads. The song doesn’t transcend them, but the agency has mastered this kind of emotive sound. I like the fractured nature of the verses. The structure gives them a confessional air, and echoes the halting rhythm of the chorus. And though I wish the second verse didn’t upend the song’s flow so completely, it’s always nice to hear Bobby rapping in this softer, melodic style. Taken all together, Why Why Why is a strange one. It’s satisfying, but feels unfinished and undercooked in some aspects. Regardless, it’s always great to have iKON back. I hope they’re able to find new growth within Kingdom’s battle royale.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8

17 thoughts on “Song Review: iKON – Why Why Why

  1. The song itself is OK. It sounds like the simple but clever sing-song songs G-dragon used to write for Big Bang. And so the whole song I was thinking when the hell are Big Bang having a comeback? Why are you making us wait, why, why!

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    • I have turned into a withered husk at this point waiting for Big Bang to come back, and I think we’ll all probably be stuck waiting even longer. Seungri’s trial is still going on in the military, and it seems like G-Dragon’s going to have to come back solo first to test the waters and public sentiment, (although I’m excited to see what he does!). Probably before 2021 is over we’ll get a comeback…probably… Although this is YG, so that could turn into 2022-2023 real quick.

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      • GD solo would be a-ok, because half the time he also drags Taeyang and TOP into to it too.
        Speaking of GD, for this ikon song here, the sing song parts of the intro and chorus and outro remind me of this gem, which reminds me of my rant about music video creativity. This one is both MV, fan meet, and fan service all at the same time, and cost a fraction of everything else we have watched this year, and has racked up 121m views too despite its thrift.

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      • Last year was an odd year, with that mad mad crush of releases in February. This year is equally odd because the release schedule is so sparse. I keep going on about how there are too many agencies who shouldn’t be in the business, and perhaps that is happening.

        Just the other day, Seven O’Clock announced disbandment, and I quite liked their “Hey There” from late August – iirc it was released the day of or day after BTS “Dynamite” so it got very lost in the noise.

        But as for quality, I think I used to say “Basic kpop” which has evolved to “Its OK”. If something is in the 7’s for me, I just don’t have the talent Nick has to write much more about something which is just music that exists to me, that some people like, and I don’t dislike.

        Hoppipola is the new crush, to add to last year’s crush Forestella. Super Junior have comeback coming soon. Kyuhyun releases a new song just for me every month. Gaho’s new song is great, and not on US itunnes dammit! Hubby got four crates of jazz vinyl from an old family friend who is downsizing houses, in good condition too, so we have lots of other new-to-us things to listen to.

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      • Surprised to hear this! I find Q1 of 2021 to be infinitely stronger than 2020 was at this point.

        Of course, some of that is probably thanks to a handful of my favorite groups and artists making comebacks these past two months.

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  2. Yeah, I agree completely with this one. There are many things I really enjoy about this track since it harkens back to one of my favourite tropes (the angsty ballad with a beat) but the production feels a little empty. It just needed an extra element or production flourish that would make the entire package feel more “full”.

    That chorus is sneaking up on me though!

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  3. I love this, it really reminds me of early 2010s YG ballads and not going to lie that’s a sound I’ve been missing on the k-pop scene. I feel like some of the members really improved as vocalists too, most notably Song whose voice I really liked here.

    When are we gonna get a June x YOON rock collab cause I’d pay for that right away.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Song didn’t hit me over the head with its greatness but it’s pretty good! I especially like that it eschews the YG tendency of replacing a fleshed out chorus with a noisy beat drop, (not that that’s always bad, but YG seems to do it…almost…every…time…). I really hope Kingdom works out for the guys and boosts their popularity after YG’s promotions (or lack-thereof) for the group and B.I’s unfortunate departure put a dent in their popularity.

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  5. I feel that this is a grower. I am enamoured by its chorus even with the weirdly sparse production and I think that it might feel less strange and more deliberate and stronger over time.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. It’s hard not to like and root for these guys after all the struggles they’ve been through. I like this song way more than I thought I would, especially Bobby’s rap!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a really big fan of two of iKON’s songs, Don’t Forget and Love Scenario, and lately I’ve fallen in love with this YG sound so this is a really unexpected but welcome surprise for me. I feel like the instrumental can’t quite decide what it wants to be since it’s so different in different sections of the song. The transition to the first pre-chorus is especially jarring. I adore the chorus – the melody, the instrumental, and the choreo. That by itself is enough reason for me to put this on repeat. The bridge feels kind of tacked on, but I do like the way the song ends. I didn’t really have strong feelings about iKON, but this makes me excited to see what they bring to Kingdom.

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  8. This song is bit of a surprise for my ears. As a casual listener of YG acts (except for Winner/Seungyoon), this song is mostly enjoyable …until the abrupt ending.

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