Review

Song Review: woo!ah! – Purple

woo!ah! - Purple
Whenever I see the name woo!ah!, I’m tempted to sing the hook from that old Busta Rhymes track. But, I’m sure that’s just my cranky old self coming through! 90’s hip-hop aside, I can’t say that any of woo!ah!’s tracks have hung around for long on my personal playlist, though I think their last two releases showed a ton of promise. These girls have strong vocals, and that works well for the edgier styles they’ve attempted thus far.

With this in mind, Purple is a misstep. It has its moments, but they’re undercut by a noisy, repetitive chorus. This isn’t unusual when it comes to this specific sub-genre of girl group fare, which is one of the reasons I’m hoping for an influx of new trends.

Purple opens with a ton of confidence, unveiling a solid performance over a minimalist beat. The pre-chorus begins to lose some luster simply because it echoes so many other girl group pre-choruses of the past few years. At some point, all these songs feel as if they’ve been composed by the same AI, drawing from a limited pool of familiar tropes and melodies. Taken on its own, Purple’s charms might come across more convincingly. But, if you listen to and write about these songs every day of the year, they start to blend together. I guess it’s to Purple’s credit, then, that its chorus opts to truly stand out.

Unfortunately, the “let’s make purple” hook stands out in a bad way. Yes, it’s catchy. I’ve already got it stuck in my head. But, it’s also irritating and lazy, underpinned by an uninspired beat drop. The girls may be intent on making “purple,” but I’d rather hear them draw upon a wider range of musical colors.

 Hooks 6
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7

29 thoughts on “Song Review: woo!ah! – Purple

  1. All I can hear is “let’s make poopoo” and now it sounds like a terrible toilet training song for children (the fantasy video doesn’t help)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. All I can hear is “let’s make poopoo” and now it sounds like a terrible toilet training song for children (the fantasy video doesn’t help)

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  3. Pronunciation-wise, it is always fascinating to me when various singers in a Kpop group pronounce the English differently. In the 1st chorus you have the first two singers pronounce “purple” with the L where Koreans normally put it, further back in the mouth. And then the 3rd singer pronounces “purple” how we would in English, with the L towards the front (if you pause you can see her tongue in the front).

    Do producers leave it up to singers choice? Do they not notice? I always wonder these things.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Yeah, when I heard the chorus in the teaser I was very nervous how the final track would turn out. Wooah! is a group I’m really rooting for, especially since I actually liked bad girl. The music video actually looks like it had more time put into it then the song; I wish it was the other way around. Some of the sounds that this song employed seem like the same samples used by other small girl groups (they didn’t augment them in anyway). I’m definitely going to ignore this release and hope that the next one is a huge leap forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. They’ve improved their visual with more mature looks, and it seems there’s an increase on the production budget too. But their song quality drops, I wonder if they changed songwriter/ composer.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Uninspired, it feels like I’ve used this word to describe a lot of releases from last week. This is quite a shame because I kind of like the first verse and chorus is annoying.

    B-side Pandora is way better and is clearly more title material with a stronger hook and a synth-heavy actual chorus. Though it suffers from a second verse breakdown like most songs, it is an obvious choice for a title track with some tweaks.

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  7. I like the concept. It’s a cute song, it has some nice moments. I wish the best of luck for them, as among the vast swath of kpop girl releases, I don’t know if this is punchy enough to stand out. Sure, we here will like and remember it, but will the general kpop audience? We are the fringe sect.

    Damn that BlackPink style of singing is really sticky. Its all over this one. Also, I see five girls singing, they all sound just about the same, and the only one I can pick out as different is the only one who can pronounce “purple” and only on that closing line of the chorus.

    (Why do they give the hard words to kids who can’t quite pronounce them. world girl purple. Red Velvet is the poster child for this. A looky, a looky looky looky. Sure, there are plenty of words in Korean that I suck at too, and I always have to remind myself that the Rom transliteration in Han-Rom-Eng is crafted by French and Dutch vowels, and the only time I can do French vowels is when I trying to mimic my old boss, and Dutch vowels is when I am drunk at the bar with Dutch friends having a good laugh.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Being a Dutch native speaker I’m pretty lucky in that regard – but I still mess up because I end up switching between reading the romanisation in English and in Dutch.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Visiting the Keukenhof was memorable. The drinking at the bar after visiting the Keukenhof was extra memorable. C’mon, try it again,keeeuuuukenhof, more eeeuuhhh, take a sip and try it again, goot!

        Also vla which I had never seen before or since, and chocolate sprinkles on toast.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Only one of those things I participate in regularly – I don’t drink, I dislike vla and I have never been to the Keukenhof at all.

          Yeah, yeah, it’s on my to do list.

          ‘Eu’ and ‘ou’ or ‘au’ seem to be some of the most difficult sounds for non-native Dutch speakers, along with the way we pronounce ‘g’. It’s very amusing to watch native English speakers try it out.

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  8. Who greenlit this chorus??? Surely someone in the production team had to have known how bad it was going to be. Repetitive choruses are not great really, and with this specific word it really just sounds bad.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I totally disagree, honestly. Admittedly, they’re my favorite group right now and it could be my bias—but I never liked their song “woo!ah!” and my love for the group still doesn’t change that, so I think I’m still capable of being objective.

    The teasers for this one really freaked me out because it sounded so abrasive and lacking in melody. I was fully expecting to not like it, just like “woo!ah!” But wow, I loved it from the first listen. It’s not my style for sure, but I love it. Every part of the song is so different from the one it follows (I’m obsessed with the prechorus, in particular). I’ve been listening nonstop since it dropped and it never stops being fun or interesting.

    It’s a great development on the sound in “woo!ah!” and honestly I think it sets them apart from the rush of rookie girl group comebacks this month. Love it or hate it, no one else is doing “Purple” right now, and I personally feel it’s a great song to establish the group’s signature off-beat sound. They always counterbalance it with fun public-friendly b-sides (check out “Pandora” and “Scaredy Cat,” seriously. They’re quality) and follow up with promotions for them, so I think they have a good strategy going by tempering their more out-there titles with comparatively subdued pop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I mentioned this somewhere else, but I agree with the notion that “no one else is doing ‘Purple’ right now”. It’s like ITZY’s Icy to me: not my favorite song from them, but I’m glad they’re consistently doing weird releases. I think it’s a lot of fun.

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      • It’s so interesting to see different reactions to songs. To me, so much of Purple feels like a retread of many current/recent girl group comebacks, so I’m surprised to hear you guys say that no one is doing this kind of song.

        I’m curious, what about Purple feels especially unique to you? Or, is it more about the performance? No judgement either way. I’m just genuinely curious!

        Liked by 1 person

        • For me, it’s all the individual elements of the song. They almost don’t fit, but that ten note bass-line ties it all together amazingly, and it’s crazy how much each section of the song can stray from the others while still feeling like it’s telling the same story. I agree it’s following recent trends (especially the chorus/outro), but there’s something about it that is just…off, in a good way. I think a lot of people are focusing heavily on the chorus, which is understandable, since it’s repetitive, super simple, and also that’s the point of a chorus lol. But I can’t stop hearing the verses and the way they’re literally all over the scale—I’ve clocked over 100 plays on this song and I still can’t really pin down where the melodies are going in the verses. And I love that. It’s like I never know what’s coming, and it’s such a thrilling feeling that I think is lacking in a lot of pop songs. Nothing wrong with that, I love listen-once-and-you-know-it radio pop. But that’s certainly an aspect of “Purple” that’s super appealing to me. I think the chorus here is purposefully simple and sparse to offset the rest of the song, which is just kind of off the wall, from the vocal lines to the weird synths.

          I also love the super major vocal melodies backlit by the minor instrumental track; it makes the song feel unpredictable. It’s especially noticeable in Sora and Wooyeon’s “I see you/Give me you” verses, which are super major and sweet-sounding. The minor synths in the background give it this seesawing, trance-y vibe that I really love. There’s just a lot of weird things happening in the background of this song, as well as in the verse melodies. I guess that’s what I mean; I can’t really name a song that sounds like “Purple.” I see where you’re coming from in that it’s absolutely a product of the current trends, but to me it feels like a subversion of them. Long response, I know, but I like this song a lot despite it definitely NOT being my usual taste, so I’ve also been trying to figure out why it left such an impression on me.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Fair enough!

            Also, I am majorly impressed with your play count status. According to my itunes stats, there isn’t a single song I’ve listened to over 100 times… let alone in a single day!

            Liked by 1 person

          • You have defined “guilty pleasure”, meaning a song you like perfectly well, but it seems no one else does, but really who cares what other people think.
            My poster children for this are Fromis9 “Fun” and Rocket Punch “Juicy”. My ipod, my rules. Unless darling daughter or sonny boy have control of it in the car, in which case, well then I am at their mercy.

            Liked by 1 person

        • I personally just find them more interesting from a production standpoint. Itzy and Blackpink might have similar styles (and in the case of Itzy, better songwriters), but I just don’t think either of them commit to that hyperpop sheen and gloss. The sounds and textures are strong and stand out without feeling overbearing or unnecessary.

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  10. I am surprised no one has mentioned this, but Purple is actually a euphemism for… it. Given the group’s age, it is really awkward and creepy. And then we have the misheard lyrics, which makes it…. pretty terrible also. Probably will never come back to this, which is sad given how I really liked I Don’t Miss U.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know I’m late with this, but are you absolutely sure of the sexual connotations here? I ask primarily because BTS have made “I purple you” a thing between them and their fans and I don’t think they would be comfortable with us saying “I FUCK YOU” to each other lol. I’ve also never heard of it being used in this way before, so don’t you think “let’s make purple” might be just another nonsense lyric?

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  11. I know I’m late with this observation, but Apple Music suggested the b-side “scaredy cat” to me and I have to say I quite enjoyed it. Or at least I did before realizing it sounds familiar to me because it’s more or less a carbon copy of “Shine” by Pentagon. Somebody on woo!ah’s production team might owe Hui a few thousand won. Anyway, I prefer both b-sides vastly to the title track here.

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