Song Review: NiziU – Poppin’ Shakin’

NiziU - Poppin' Shakin'Double a-side singles are common in Japan. Similar to Korea’s double title tracks, they offer a chance for J-pop acts to quickly grow their singles discography. NiziU have immediately followed Take A Picture with its coupling song, Poppin’ Shakin’. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the group’s hyper pop style is rarely going to be for me, but I can appreciate the candy-coated hooks for what they are.

I have the same issues with NiziU’s work that I had with Twice’s early J-pop output. The vocals are pitched high and occasionally out of tune, and the relentless brightness of the music can often feel like children’s programming at its most cloying. So I try to reframe my expectations when going into a NiziU track, intent on identifying the charms that can be extracted from this particular sound palette.

With this new viewpoint, Poppin’ Shakin’ definitely has its selling points. Its peppy synth beat isn’t too far from Twice’s Dance The Night Away, and rides on the same sense of delirious repetition. There’s a surplus of “la la la la” hooks to be found here, but the instrumental supports them with an upbeat drive that goes down easy. And apart from a wobbly pre-chorus, the girls sound pretty solid. Poppin’ Shakin’ stakes its claim on “cute” (or in this case, “kawaii”), the way most of their songs have thus far, but the track never goes over the top. Its percolating groove is a nice match for the group’s charms, leading me to believe that NiziU will eventually follow Twice’s footsteps and grow into a more potent pop sound.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

4 thoughts on “Song Review: NiziU – Poppin’ Shakin’

  1. Wow, this song makes it truly clear that JYP is positioning Niziu as Twice two in the Jpop market, the fast followers now that Twice is going more “mature” and glam. It really sounds like make me a song that sounds like Dance the Night away but is a new song. I mean why not, every three years or so launch the next follow on, and grow the older ones with their audience as they all grow older together. (The Olsen twins made a mint growing older with their fans back when, evolving their branding and merch.) Jpop also seems to have more tolerance for these close copycats vz all the AKB48 spinoffs.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This song is essentially very NiziU and I will probably remember this song first when I think of them. Is it just me or did the nasal voice singing in Take A Picture magically disappeared? The voice mixing/filtering(Idk the terms) is way better in Poppin Shakin and I don’t know if that’s supposed to be a japanese market strategy or smth since Poppin Shakin screams kpop to me. Really fun song.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It may not be hyperpop but it’s certainly hyper pop. 😛

    I like this one much more than last.
    It’s good… I don’t know … thinking about J-pop gg’s who don’t aggressively autotune or Melodyne …I def prefer January’s Nogizaka46 “Wilderness World” or I*zone’s “Sukito Iwasetai” wistful power to this kawaii pep.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I recognized this because I downloaded it a while ago – I really liked it on first listen but didn’t age too well for me. I much prefer this over Dance the Night Away despite the similarities. Love that sound in the opening but unfortunately it doesn’t return much throughout the song.

    Liked by 1 person

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