Review

Song Review: GHOST9 – Up All Night

GHOST9 - Up All Night
Though summer doesn’t officially start until later this month, June always seems to kick off the beginning of K-pop’s summer concepts. Of all the groups to tackle this upbeat energy, I wouldn’t have expected GHOST9 to be the first out of the gate. Though I’ve enjoyed their singles run so far, their sound has been on the edgier side of boy group fare. The exuberant Up All Night (밤샜다) switches things up completely, opting for a blast of undiluted pop melody.

To be honest, this style of power pop has my name written all over it. I love big, anthemic choruses and bounding instrumentals, so much that I can overlook the cutesier tropes that tend to accompany comebacks like this. Ever since debut, GHOST9 have made their name on strong choruses. Even when their verses opted for momentum-killing shifts in energy, their hooks always delivered. And, that’s certainly the case for Up All Night. Its two-part chorus is undeniable, harnessing a sense of sweet melodicism. Its second half is a real knockout – a soaring refrain that will surely get your pulse racing. The first is basically 2011-era One Direction, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

In between, Up All Night’s verses keep the party going. I love how intentional the melody is during the opening verse, and appreciate how the second verse rap is integrated into the song without the need for an interruptive breakdown. And even when Up All Night pulls back for its bridge, the lull isn’t jarring. The song quickly builds back to its explosive chorus, sending us out on a high. This is a ton of fun, and will probably grow even more addictive as the season wears on.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

47 thoughts on “Song Review: GHOST9 – Up All Night

  1. This is the quintessential summer bob and I’m here for it. The mv is bursting with so much color I feel like I’m looking out from the inside of a popsicle. And that energy is off the charts.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is the golden child of Golden Child’s “Let Me”. Not a bad thing. A bit surprising actually, to hear this sound this year, and as you say coming out of Ghost9. Even though Let Me was only a few years ago, hearing this vibe today feels so retro, so old fashioned. Sure, yeah, I’ll take it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Throughout all the reviews i’ve seen here, i’ve never seen you posted a positive comment, i’ve only seen like “meh” “it’s okay” or like negative comments. What’s up with that?

      Like

      • Well just yesterday I was gushing about Yunsae. I shall gush again.

        Yunsae is this little indie artist who composes, performs, and produces all her own music, and some agency should scoop her up pronto to write songs for the girl groups because the songs she composes, performs, and produces all on her own in her little room is rather good stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I mean, the one review I very much remember being surprised by MYMA is Suhyun’s Alien. Their positive review was honestly quite the shocker, because Alien isn’t much at first. But it proved its worth as the song for me eventually grew to be very insanely catchy and just something you could listen over and over again and not be bored. I might not have given it that chance without MYMA’s input.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I feel like there are many shades of ‘meh’ that Myma expresses – there’s more positive and more negative mehs, there’s mehs that are a true neutral.

        Kidding aside, some have very intense positive/negative reactions to different songs, others’ feelings are more nuanced – it keeps the comment sections interesting.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Myma is a unique and distinguished woman who enjoys sophisticated fare. I don’t know if you’ve heard of a rare gem of a song called “Juicy” by some underappreciated indie musicians known as “Rocket Punch…”

        All joking aside, I find that I often disagree with her musical opinions but generally I do find them very interesting and appreciate what she brings to these comments. She certainly has a wealth of knowledge and also sticks to her guns when she really does like or dislike something, which I find rather admirable because I tend to be wishy-washy.

        Like

  3. I just love this song so much. There is so much exuberance and colour to it that never dulls. I absolutely love the bridge that pulls back for a moment and allows room to breathe and make way for the big chorus once again. And that climax is rousing. Ghost9 would’ve been the last group I expected to tackle this sound but they execute this with finesse and absolute charm and prove their versatility.

    The mini album is quite strong, all of the tracks upbeat. The last track Antenna is awesome, complete with a key change at the end. Trampoline bounds on with the same energy as the title while Double Click is very video game-esque.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Unrelated, but after listening Ravi’s new song today I couldn’t help but browse through his older reviews. And I thought this might be the perfect time to bring back this gem.

    https://thebiaslist.com/2019/08/30/song-review-ravi-still-nirvana-ft-haon-xydo/

    This has to be the most glorious and legendary review written on this site, along with a few more colourful reviews for Jackson, Lay and that weird creepy ai group.

    (I’m surprised what kept Nick going to review more skrrt skrrts? It’s enough to break someone after so many years of exposure.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have a long experience with Ravi here. I would be surprised if Nick reviews “Cardigan”, although hey you never know! Perhaps, Nick just might after he sighs and mutters Ah Ravi! under his breath more than a few times.

      Ravi is like Jessi to me. I greatly admire his chutzpah, his charisma, but his songs notsomuch. This “Cardigan” song is a better example which I actually do not mind, if only because the hook is funny.

      You can tell he is serious about his music, and at the same time doesn’t take it too seriously and allows room for a good laugh. It’s the kind of pop that is easy to enjoy because it isn’t trying too hard to appeal to this that and the other demographic, to get more streams and to master the magic algorithms. Its just a fun pop song, plain and simple.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh please, cardigan is largely hookless. Although the comparisons you draw with Jessi are quite accurate, I would argue her work is actually well made with sound production choices and thus appeals to a lot of people. If I had to compare Ravi with someone, I would probably suggest Lay? Both heads of their own companies and going by their musical directions no matter if it sounds actually sensible.

        Also, I can ever so slightly smell that cardigan review but Nick, you know you don’t need to do it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Do you mean that weird creepy all ai kpop girl group that came out in February or March or thereabouts? Somehow I remember the song is called “I’m Real”, but really I wish to forever forget that the song exists and hope it will get erased from all memory soon.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Hey Nick, I think I just found another old comment ripe for the great comments page:

        Khizuo:

        I love how all the main commenters on this site have their own little quirks.

        MYMAGOOGLE – Replying to their own comments. Also, the one taking the time and effort to comment on pretty much every single post.
        Xenoterran – Knows probably every kpop girl group that has ever been in existence. And, according to them, “going off topic”.
        JYHB – Alternating between sick burns and sky-high praise filled with music lingo.
        Katie – concise, honest opinions. The one I wish more kpop fans are like.
        Trolls™ – forever getting destroyed by the subcomments.

        Oh, should I be saying something about the song? Well, uh, it’s… pleasant. I’ve forgotten what it sounds like already.

        https://thebiaslist.com/2019/08/28/song-review-crush-nappa/

        Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that is a fabulously brutal review! I like Ravi sometimes (Bum and Damnra in particular) but it’s no coincidence that both of those tracks have several collaborators – his vocal tone always sounds to me like he just got back from the dentist, which is… distinct… I guess? Better in small doses for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I found “Cardigan”… puzzling. I had a hard time processing rap about knitwear, and it’s just weird to hear the word “cardigan” repeated over and over. Is it supposed to be one of those awkward compliments you give someone you like and then later cringe at how lame it is? He seems to be having fun in the video, though.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t know what it is with exuberant high energy brassy youthful boy group songs that are hit or miss for me. Maybe it’s the brass that I can’t get into. Or maybe it’s entirely just me not really connecting with the vibe sometimes. Maybe too in my face at times. I don’t know.

    Regardless, this is 100% a good song that I just can’t get into because these songs are really just a coin toss on whether it works or not for me. Some songs I instantly click with, some take a while for it to work, some just don’t ever.

    I definitely enjoy the b-sides more except for Runaway. Trampoline is literally Up All Night just slightly less energetic, synth-ier and less in your face and I already enjoy it way more. Double Click is a bossa nova-esque coffee-shop/elevator song done pretty well in my opinion.

    On the flipside, Antenna is actually a ballad I actually really enjoy. More than MAMAMOO’s recent one at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You said 2011-era One Direction, Myma said Golden Child Let Me, the rating was high and my ears were perked all the way up before even listening to it.

    2011 One Direction is spot on. This song reminds me of various 1D songs from the 2011-2012 era. It’s immensely nostalgic for me because I was in high school and obsessed with the lads during those very years.

    This is exactly the kind of pop music I’ve been missing, and I’m unashamed to say it. It’s so fun and light, it’s straightforward but just varied enough to keep it fun. The chorus is fantastic – especially the second part!. It’s not quite as good as Let Me (in my biased opinion) but what a great way to start off summer!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yep, Golcha still pull off this concept better than anyone. To me, Up All Night comes across as a blend of 2018-era Golcha and 2016-era Astro. Certainly not a bad thing!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Now that you mentioned it, I can’t believe I didn’t pick up on the Astro vibes here. Early Astro has more of a soft, shimmery approach to this concept while Golcha tends to go full cheerleader-team-levels of energy.

        Up All Night definitely has a little bit of that softer, more restrained feeling (though ‘restrained’ is not a fitting term for songs like this, I guess).

        Liked by 2 people

  7. This is basically what I like in a song, bright catchy pop, and GHOST9 are now on my radar. I somehow missed their debut and only heard about them a few months ago, and I was surprised to discover the Produce connection – this is where Jinwoo went?! While I enjoyed their other releases as I listened to them, this one captured me straight out of the gate. This is charming and fun and the MV is good old-fashioned bright energy and I like it a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. In my mind there is some musical genealogy tree that goes from 1D to Shinee’s Boys Meet U to this song. It’s very welcome though.

    Like

  9. Up All Night by 1D >>> Up All Night by GHOST9, imo. idk, sometimes this 1D pastiche pop works for me (as with Let Me), and sometimes it just makes me want to actually listen to 1D! The title is not bad, but I prefer Double Click from this album, personally, I find that one really fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This isn’t nearly as much my style as their past titles, but I found myself enjoying it in spite of myself. There’s just so much HAPPENING in the production, and it sounds like more than a couple real live guitars were involved, even better! I’m reminded a little bit of Beautiful, Beautiful, although not quite that triumphant.

    On my second listen through the full EP I don’t love anything the way I love two or three tracks from each of their previous releases, but some of those took a little time to go from like to love, so who knows what a few more listens will do. I am a little put off by the heavy bass running throughout the more upbeat songs (I actually checked my headphones to see if I’d accidentally hit bass-up) but maybe that’ll grow on me too.

    Like

  11. Yessssss. I’m so glad you liked it, because it spoke to me 🤣. I most certainly am a ghost9 Stan at this point. There albums never fail to disappoint me. I can always count of them to give me songs that I reach out to listen over and over again.

    While their last title track grew stale on me over time, their b sides stayed strong and had me coming back for more. Luckily, I feel like the majority of the album will be on my playlist this time, including the title track.

    It’s always a plus to come across music that sings to you. Literally and metaphorically~

    Like

  12. I’ve read all of Nick’s other reviews of GHOST9, and I notice he’s compared their music quite a lot to ATEEZ’s, and I don’t disagree with that at all.

    Treasure – Think Of Dawn – Both were ‘meh’ until the chorus.
    Say My Name – W.ALL – Both had a bad chorus, but wonderful post or prechoruses

    If Up All Night also should fit in, then I guess its a Wave to their discography.

    I know it’s quite a stretch, but just saying what I thought, also because I’m desperate for another Treasure series.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve read all of Nick’s other reviews of GHOST9, and I notice he’s compared their music quite a lot to ATEEZ’s, and I don’t disagree with that at all.

    Treasure – Think Of Dawn – Both were ‘meh’ until the chorus.
    Say My Name – W.ALL – Both had a bad chorus, but wonderful post or prechoruses

    If Up All Night also should fit in, then I guess its a Wave to their discography.

    I know it’s quite a stretch, but just saying what I thought, also because I’m desperate for another Treasure series.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Since I didn’t know where else to put it, will we be getting an nct 127 review? Because they’ve seemed to have released something actually coherent after a while and is sure fine.

    Though it’s a collab, we have the mv or is it that Nick is just a little late today?

    Like

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