Review

Song Review: Ciipher – I Like You

Years ago, K-pop legend Rain formed boy group MBLAQ. They found sizable success, and were followed by junior acts Two X and Madtown before the subsidiary J. Tune Camp went defunct. Now, Rain is back with the first idol group from his own R.A.I.N Company. Of course, times and tastes have changed since 2009. How well does Ciipher fit into this new era?

I Like You (안꿀려) is a notable debut, but for all the wrong reasons. I want to like Ciipher – especially with so many of its members having a long, unfair history in the industry. But, the vocal effects on this song are awful. Just… awful. I know it’s stylistic, but when a group’s performance is slathered in this much autotune throughout an entire track, it feels like the producers weren’t certain of their innate skills.

In another world, I Like You could have been a pleasant mid-tempo r&b bop. It boasts an amiable groove, and the melodic introduction is quite nice. The hook is a solid earworm, delivered with playful energy. But, the production gives the track a flimsy, throwaway quality. Remember that dubious Ark Music Factory that catapulted Rebecca Black’s Friday to viral fame a decade ago? This is kind of like the K-pop equivalent. I don’t doubt that Ciipher have talent, but an arrangement this inorganic makes them come across as amateurs. I expect better of Rain, especially given his history as a mentor. Maybe Ciipher’s follow-up will right this uncertain ship?

 Hooks 8
 Production 4
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.25

23 thoughts on “Song Review: Ciipher – I Like You

  1. The first 30 secs were snoozer – what is with all the doe eyes at the camera? They actually creeped me out. The single line of girl over the end credit was fun. The middle 3:30 between the beginning and the end credit, well, that Pentagon Shine song vibe is rather influential several years on, that fun and frolic sound. The rap is passable. The rest is just OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought this was adorable and catchy despite all the autotune. The showcase stage didn’t seem to have nearly as many vocal effects going on. I love their energy and charm.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. First of all, I need to say this: Rain did Ciipher so DIRTY. Did the company have less funds to give the boys better quality for their music video? It feels so low budget, like really low budget…

    Okay, video aside, let’s talk about the song. As soon as I heard that autotune, I knew that this would NOT go well. It’s a big bummer, because the song’s instrumental has big potential (I think TAG produced the song? I don’t know, my memory is bad). Everything feels so filterized and grating to the ears to be honest, and it’s hard to enjoy the song because of that.

    Also, the arrangement… goodness it’s hard to follow for me. And that bridge? I don’t know if it’s just me, but it feels like the instrumental and the vocals have different timing or something. Like, it sounds so off to me, and it’s quite bothersome to hear.

    The song has really big potential to be expanded and polished to become a better song. The instrumental is one that I would have fallen in love quickly, if it weren’t for that autotuned voices. The voices of these boys shouldn’t have been shielded with technology smh.

    I’m giving this a solid 7. I was expecting a lot, because not only were Sungwon and Seokwon in the group, Rain would be mentoring the group as well. Remembering MBLAQ, Madtown, and Two X, we could only keep our fingers crossed for the future of Ciipher.

    Liked by 2 people

    • He hasn’t even bothered to market them. He didn’t bother to make sure the album was on Spotify ready for fans to listen to. There wasn’t even a YouTube channel until recently, and it has three videos. Three. They didn’t even have an active Vlive account. Where are all the cute videos for the fans leading up to the debut? It’s so incompetent.

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  4. I did not expect anything good from the moment they introduced themselves with this: “Save Us! Hello, we are Ciipher! Please save our lives just once”… what the hell is Rain doing with these kids

    Liked by 3 people

    • So cringey, although I do wonder if it’s connected to the series of puzzles fans are supposed to solve which maybe saves them? And Rain is too oblivious to realize how it would be perceived? Yeah, probably not. What a rotten intro.

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  5. The stylistic autotune is not entirely suited to the song, I feel.. especially the super autotuned yEeeEaAAaA run bothers me. Apart from that it’s cute and decently catchy.

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  6. Why is no one talking about how the mixing is so cheap? The auto-tune doesn’t sound normal either… Rain did them so dirty. Hopefully, the company can take note of the comeback. Nick, I really think you were being too generous with the rating.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, mixing is bad too. That definitely factored into the “production” score.

      I don’t know how long you’ve been following this blog, but a 6.25 is very low for me. I rarely rate below the 6’s, despite having other options available.

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      • I’ve been following for a while, and yeah, I just saw that the hooks helped balance out the score. It really sucks that Rain is one of the richest men in south korea, but gives them audacity-like mixed vocals. I could be crazy, but one layer doesn’t seem to be auto-tuned which I think makes it grating to the ears :/

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  7. I know I like the melody,but I can’t help but feel exhausted by the autotune. The boys give a playful and energetic performance, but this song is putting me to sleep

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think the vocal processing stands out so much because the vocals seem loud compared to the instrumental…idk if I’m the only one hearing it like that. Also, I think auto-tune can be used really well, like how Sik-K does, and a song shouldn’t be disliked just because auto-tune was used. Regrettably, it kind of takes over the show with this song.

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  9. I don’t think I know enough about music production to know if it sounds cheap. I notice the auto-tune, which is definitely overused. I am wondering why the mini album doesn’t seem to be on Spotify. On social media fans keep asking where they can listen to it.

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      • It’s on Spotify now – attached to the wrong artist profile. Messy indeed. Does Rain have a marketing department with a marketing plan? If so, did he hire them last week? When I think of the build up for Kingdom and Mirae… I haven’t had any investment in this group, didn’t know anything about them until recently. Yesterday I saw footage of one of the members crying because he was so happy to finally be debuting and now I’m just kinda mad. My heart will break if Rain completely muffs this as he has before. I just want the boys to be happy and successful and to NOT HAVE THIS MAN THEY SEE AS A FATHER FIGURE BETRAY AND ABANON THEM. Rain, get your shit together.

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  10. Hmmm. I have to listen to this one more. All I know is I could of used a lot less auto tune.

    But the first rap verse was really good! Whoever does the first one is good with his flow. Or at least it sounds that way to me. I wouldn’t mind if they kept this R&B sorta cute concept, but just…less auto tune please.

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  11. I actually love all the rap verse, that’s go hard but still fit with the summery instrument, the intro, beautiful. But the autotune is kinda too much. Especially the pre-chorus, his voice litterally sounded like robots. And i dont know if its just me or the 널 원하는 남자들을 진열해도(neol weonhaneun namjadeureul jinyeolhaedo) Part layer kinda doesn’t line up perfectly. idk, but im still listening to the song though….

    Like

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