Song Review: P1Harmony – Scared

P1Harmony - Scared
P1Harmony made a solid debut last October, but waited six months before returning with their first comeback. Judging from their new album, the group seems to have settled on hip-hop as their overarching sound. I think it’s a good fit for their talents – especially if they can draw from various elements and eras of the genre.

It probably won’t surprise anyone to hear that my favorite hip-hop songs put their beat front and center, opting for full-bodied groove over skittering trap hi-hats. That’s likely a product of my age more than anything. And when I say that Scared’s slamming percussion reminds me of J-Kwon’s 2004 mega-hit Tipsy, that will draw an even more specific backdrop. This is meant as a compliment, of course. I love the production on Scared (겁나니). An insistent breakbeat drives its instrumental, complimented by cacophonous rhythms that deepen the groove. It’s hard to sit still when listening to a song like this.

At first, I thought Scared’s chorus was a bit of a letdown. The chant seemed too simplistic. But after a few listens, it’s amazing how much bite that hook has. It’s made even stronger by a descending vocal flourish that adds extra flavor to the track. Scared focuses more on rap than melody, making the vocal moments stand out. But as with any great hip-hop track, the rap verses are the highlight. It’s fun to hear idol rappers given a chance to shine over playful percussion, rather than be relegated to some stale post-chorus trap breakdown. P1Harmony would be wise to maintain this addictive style on future comebacks.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

16 thoughts on “Song Review: P1Harmony – Scared

  1. I like this song more than I should. A lot hinges on that pots and pans clanging sample that shows up from time to time. I wish that was a real instrument not a sample, because after the third or fourth reappearance, it becomes clear that it is the same descending line e.g. a clever sample. A musician would have varied it a bit to match the growing intensity of the song. The song wears out its ideas by about 2:45 – 3 minutes but then it unfortunately continues for another 30 45 seconds. It doesn’t know where to end. That said, I still like it, small ell like.

    On a related note, a youtube video popped up on my feed this morning, entitled “When you learn a riff and put it in everything”.

    Something about this song reminds me of Exo styling, or more properly the SM signature sound circa 2015 2016 including Exo and early NCT127.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The fact that I knew the youtuber who made that video just from the title.. I’m sure it says something about my social media habits. Big L like from me for this song, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really disagree but I can see your points. I just hate that instrumental lol, so it would be like a low 7 for me.

    Definitely agree about that descending vocal flourish, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A fast-paced rap track with interesting production choices? Nice.

    Like an earlier commenter, I hear some SM – style in this, maybe it’s the layered vocals. I’m also reminded of early Monsta X, specifically Trespass. The rhythm of the beat is similar and there’s a yeah~yeah in that chorus that sounds a lot like the one here at 1:16. I loved early Monsta X, but this track is more polished and I prefer that.

    The song may be rap heavy, but the vocal moments are chosen well and really elevate the song. I like it a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, if FNC were smart they would position P1Harmony to take over the “hip-hop boy group” market BTS commanded during their first few years. I think there’s a gap in the industry for this specific sound.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. wow yah I’ve commented and seen people in the comments before that they want to here a “hyperpop/ PC music” esque production in Kpop and here it is.

    specifically the pots and pans.

    ^source example

    I like the song fine – it’s a little too jarring on some of the section shifts

    the actual vocal performances are pretty fire and fun though!


    • I had never heard of “glitch hip hop” until this moment. Thank you for this. I will admit that after listening to this and one or two others that popped up with the google search, I will consider my tour through glitch hip hop complete.

      Being a child of the 80’s my mind when to Depeche Mode “People are People” for pot and pans percussion. … I had never seen the video until this moment as it was not in heavy rotation on MTV – we all just shared bootleg cassette copies.


    • So is this what hyperpop is? I keep hearing the term but I don’t quite get it. Can’t say this kind of music is for me, but the more toned-down versions of this genre I might enjoy.


  5. I actually loved this song on first listen, I really love Hip Hop and it’s deep employment of rhytm and charisma. And Scared is just so utterly charming, I can see it grow in the near future. Also, I love the lyrics. I am not one to gawk at what the song has to say, but It just uplifts my spirits! Rating: Somewhere in the 8’s, I am not sure where to place it as I don’t know if it will grow or fall.

    Now Off Topic: All this talk about hip hop is getting me hungry for ONF’s awaiting comeback. I’ve heard the teaser, and it feels like the grand finale to a grand month. Hope the full song is just as good!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t remember the last time my opinion of a song changed so rapidly. I went from I don’t like this at all, to its ok, to head bopping to this in less than a day. Initially I thought the hook was kind of ugly sounding, but it sunk its teeth in real fast. Nothing about this song suits my usual preference but its already had remarkable growing power, and within the frame of the whole album I quite like it. It is also quite nice to see a groups rap line shine this much, and they do so throughout the whole album. Conversely the rap heavy focus heightens the vocal lines as well.

    Honestly, I have fallen for P1harmony as a group very quickly. I usually try to hold off on buying into rookie groups until their a few releases in, but I just could not help myself. At some point you get used to a certain baseline of skill within kpop groups, even the baby rookies are very good, but I really like P1harmony’s line up. I think their array of personalities and skill are going to make for a really great group. This might be the first group I have gotten into where the members really sold me on the group before the music did. Although given the growing power this album has had on me in only one day, I am sure my love for the music will catch up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oooo. Okay but the MUSIC VIDEO for scared really elevates it in my opinion. I do admire the niche they are going for because it makes them stand out. Hip hop is definitely a genre I would stay in for them.

    It did take me a bit to warm up to the chorus. During the first chorus I was like wow kind of grating, but after hearing it the third time in the song and having that climatic build with it….it do be growing on me.

    I have to be in like a hype me up mood to listen to this though.


  8. You should listen to the bsides on P1Harmony’s latest album, Scared was great but woahhh I was so shocked at how great the entire album was. Reset was definitely my fav, an instant 10/10


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.