Review

Song Review: DRIPPIN – Young Blood


Rookie group DRIPPIN impressed me with their first mini album, but given Woollim Entertainment’s track record with boy groups, I was almost guaranteed to like their music. Still, Nostalgia had a gracefulness that set the group apart. Coupled with an excellent chorus, the song pointed toward an exciting future for DRIPPIN. Follow-up Young Blood isn’t quite as good, but its jaunty house beat keeps the groove going.

Produced by the prolific Monotree team, who have already delivered a few 2021 classics, Young Blood feels more straightforward than many K-pop title tracks these days. It sets out to be an upbeat dance song and rarely strays from that template. If I had my way, the synths would be brighter and more energetic, but I love the electro bass that runs through most of the track. It’s a good match for DRIPPIN, spotlighting the variety of their vocal colors. Like AB6IX’s debut-era singles, which also followed this sonic template, Young Blood has tons of room to grow as its charms become more familiar.

The song opts for a skeleton of a chorus, which is both a benefit and drawback. The sprightly hook works well within the song’s arrangement, though I can’t help but imagine what a more robust chorus (think: ONF’s Beautiful Beautiful) might have done to the track. I’m not a fan of that second verse breakdown, which shoehorns jarring hi-hat rolls into the mix for no apparent reason. A song like Young Blood thrives on consistency of groove, and these brief interruptions are a detriment. Still, the track’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, and DRIPPIN get an extra “bias” point by benefit of their lineage alone. Check with me a month from now and I’m sure I’ll have played this song to death.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

23 thoughts on “Song Review: DRIPPIN – Young Blood

  1. I like this song. I did not expect to like it, especially with That Overused Sound that started it, and then the Oh yeah, oh yeah. But it took a turn for the better and then well, how about that. Although, to be fair, I think I like it because it sounds to me like late 2nd gen style circa about 2014, like a long-lost song from (insert your fav disbanded 2nd gen here). For as much as we malign whatever gen we are in now, this shows that some of them from today are as good as some of them from back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The consensus on the social medias (the ones I’m on anyway) seems to be that we are in 4th gen right now. I think debuts after 2017 are generally seen as 4th gen groups. Of course this whole generation dividing thing is kind of arbitrary as well.

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      • Forget that, I know what I am saying is a whole new different topic but I just have something to add here.

        Everybody thinks that
        Rookie debuts with clattertrap dark image sound = Professional Rookies
        Rookie debuts with youthful bright image = inferior.

        I am so sick of it, I know its just an assumption but it feels like people’s first reaction for every rookie group which is dark. “oMl tHeY nOt rOoKiE”, like shut up. Every rookie group seems to debut with the same image and same sound and I am getting tired of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I know, but I am old and cranky and sometimes make impertinent statements. Really, after 1st and possible 2nd, it becomes a bit splitting hairs. Back in my day there were the 286 386 486 Intel microprocessors, and today can anyone remember the difference, no. Same here, Its really about the fandoms perceptions and what the kids like to go on about.

        As far as the debut style, I shall repeat: its all about fandoms perceptions and what the kids like to go on about. Kpop being an entirely commercially crafted product, sometimes this may matter. The problem is that there are too many in the business trying to make it in the business without trying something creative. How many different brands of flavored seltzer are in the grocery aisles now? How many are trying to make it to the grocery aisles? It is still all flavored seltzer.

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        • It’s true. I barely know what classifies as 2nd or 3rd generation, and I don’t think I even know about any 1st generation groups. (I also did not know what a seltzer was and had to Google it. It seems there are many things I do not know.)

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          • I actually would classify it by the overall trends. Based on that, I’d split K-Pop into many eras. This does not go along with other people say.

            First Gen: 1992-95

            The founding gen. Idol groups were not commercialized yet for the teenage audience. Grunge Rock and New Jack Swing were prominent, but the defining trend was early 90’s Hip-Hop.

            Second Gen: 1996-2007

            Social Commentary lyrics were a major theme throughout, while groups also commonly released mid-tempo love songs for the teen market. Girl Group market grows slowly.

            Third Gen: 2008-2011

            SNSD, 2NE1, Wonder Girls, led the rise of girl groups. Catchiness, aegyo, and things the international community correlates with K-Pop begins to rise. Commonly considered the ‘golden’ era of K-Pop (While I would say it is what I defined as 2nd gen).

            Fourth Gen: 2012-2015

            Catchy club pop dominates. K-Pop gain international market.

            2016: The solo year

            Last year of complete Big 3/4 dominance. Strong rookie line-up. A bridge between years prior and future.

            Fifth Gen: 2017-Present

            The modern, messy, oversaturated, K-Pop era. Western dominance is in sight and everyone wants in on the action, and begins to play to western trends. Blind fandom revives after fading slightly in the 4th gen.

            Sorry if this is quite long.

            Liked by 2 people

            • This is an interesting way to classify it! A nice overview of the evolution of kpop. True, I would call 2NE1 etc 2nd generation just according to my vague feeling about it. I consider my journey into kpop to have started in 3rd gen (around 2013), but my introductory groups were 2nd gen groups (Big Bang, 2NE1, SNSD).

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  2. The mixing in the music video sounds weird and awkward honestly.

    Anyways, I will be here cheering on for album track “Reach Out”, It’s absolutely fantastic and Has an excellent chorus with an extra oomph with that funky bass!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually love the song, but not as much as Nostalgia. I love the bsides more than the title track itself, which is rare for me to do.

    First of all, I love the high energy of the song. It doesn’t really build up a lot, but it is enough for the listener to be engaged and enjoy the song. Definitely liked the straightforward-ish(?) arrangement, it makes the track more focused. Also, the song feels simple, but not to the extent that it’s dull and boring.

    Now let’s talk about the chorus. I love the hook a lot, especially that it’s stuck in my mind even after the first listen. But the melody feels a little bit lacking, as if there’s something missing with it. Although it grew on me after a 2nd listen, I still feel bothered at it. But the instrumental really carries it all the way through the end, which I liked.

    I’m giving this a solid 9, they’re lucky I’m too biased to give a rating lower than that. Monotree team did a good job on this one, as expected from them.

    Am I smelling Reach Out as buried treasure? It’s absolutely my most favorite track from the album!

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  4. “Isn’t quite as good” as Nostalgia is how I feel about this one. It has good potential to grow on me though, and feels right as a follow up.

    Is it just me or are their voices kind of muffled in the song (or at least not placed front and center)?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It became better on the second listen. I’m glad the boys pull it off because I wouldn’t have liked this if this was a different group. Reach Out Your Hands is a much better song, hoping for a buried treasure review soon!

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  6. Some of the production reminds me of Oliver Heldens (especially this: “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxEiIeoet6Q”). It’s a nice song – it isn’t really grabbing me by the collar yet though. Wonder if it’ll grow on me.

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  7. I’m usually a sucker for this house-y sound, so I’m digging it!
    2 out of 2 for me, with DRIPPIN.

    PD: Nick, did you listen to the last Hikaru Utada single (One Last Kiss)? I think it has my favourite production of the year, with the right melody on top and a synth climax to die for! I’d really recommend it.

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    • That’s funny. I watched the mv so early in the morning that I don’t think I even noticed! Went straight to the audio version after, and that fixes the issue.

      It’s like Seventeen’s Pretty U all over again! I ended up making a sneaky little remuxed version of that mv for personal use. Will be doing the same for this unless Woollim steps up their game first!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t mind this song but don’t love it. I found my attention drifting as it went on. I feel like it started out interesting, but didn’t really go anywhere.

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