Song Review: Brave Girls – Chi Mat Ba Ram

Brave Girls - Chi Mat Ba RamAfter the massive success of Rollin, Brave Brothers had a singular goal for Brave Girls: make them the new Queens of K-Pop Summer. And honestly, it’s about time! Ever since Sistar left the throne vacant, no group has made a convincing bid to take the crown. Yes, there have been individual tracks that dominated the season, but no one has returned again and again to defend their title. Will Brave Girls finally be the ones?

Brave Brothers – like a few notable Korean producers – has a definitive sound. From melody to pacing to instrumental, you know it as soon as you hear it. And despite working on songs for his new boy group DKB, this high energy style has been absent for too long. Knowing that he would throw all his energy into a summer song had my expectations sky high. After all, this is the guy who gave us classics like AOA’s Heart Attack and Bestie’s Love Options!

Chi Mat Ba Ram (치맛바람) harnesses a similar energy to those songs, but lacks their lethal hooks. Opening with a brassy flourish, the track moves into a sprightly, self-referential verse that unfolds like all of Brave Brothers’ tracks thrown in a blender. It’s not remotely new, but the whole thing moves at such a breathless pace you’ll hardly notice. For their part, Brave Girls imbue the performance with an infectious sense of joy.

As expected, Chi Mat Ba Ram’s chorus hinges on a cyclical structure. Brave Brothers’ melodies always feel as if they’re chasing their own tail, and that circular motion results in a satisfying sense of completion. I don’t think this chorus is particularly great, but it gets the job done. Underpinned by a relentless dance beat, the final product is undeniably fun. And, that may be Chi Mat Ba Ram’s greatest asset. It never takes a moment to breathe, spinning its summertime fantasia with convincing resolve. It’s hard not to get swept up in this conviction, overbaked as the song may be.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

36 thoughts on “Song Review: Brave Girls – Chi Mat Ba Ram

  1. The track is upbeat, a too upbeat? Though the energy throughout the song was remarkable, the chorus could’ve had more power and the song on a whole could’ve had more highs and lows. It just sounds like loud continuous brass and ready beats. That said, neither rollin’ nor this song is for me, though I cannot deny its brilliance. I truly wish all the succes to the group and their producers. I really like the b-side fever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2 days in this hook is hitting a lot harder on repeated listens.
      if anything – like other classic brave brothers – all the different parts might take time to pull apart on first listen, but repeated listens definitely flatter this track.


  2. I love it! I missed Brave Bros summer songs for girl groups. The album is amazing too, every single song could have easily been a single. Hoping for Pool Party as the buried treasure (or any of the songs honestly.)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved the song so much! It’s so fun of energy and it’s a song that is not afraid to be bright and upbeat and just pure fun! Sure, it might not be perfect or good as Rollin’, but what Brave Girls needed was a solid song that fitted them, and to estabilish their sound, it sounds like Brave Girls take on summer concept, and I really miss Brave Brothers songs, so i’m all for it!

    The mini is really great, Pool Party is super fun and will be on repeat for a while. This might be the first comeback in years that i’m actually excited about.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Minyoung can sing, we all know that but I’m not sure why her voice just make my ears hurt so much. Though I don’t like rollin’ I still think it was catchier than this. I wish all the best for them because I’m really happy seeing them thriving after all the struggle they’ve been through.


  5. As expect from Brave brothers, the song is topping the charts. I really love the second part of chorus; so catchy and refreshing. The song is very upbeat and energy is on another level, but maybe a little too much for me. There a moment where I could only hear high notes and it threw me off a little. A nice summer song overall but I would say Rollin is still their best title.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was disappointed on first listen because the song didn’t sound like it have a unique texture and the chorus didn’t wasn’t an instant earworm. I love Minyoung on this song though, all the girls are great, but her voice has an appeal to her that I can’t explain. The song definitely will go on my summer playlist even though I honestly prefer the breezy hooks of yoo-hoo. Hopefully the rest of the album will be good and brave girls will have a repackage or maybe another release later this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wasn’t feeling it at first then the second chorus came and the bridge and the classic brave brothers outro and now I’m obsessed. I missed high energy dance pop like this, it’s like 2015 all over again

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This has a lot of 2nd gen kpop summer vibes for me and I love it, the classic Brave Bros presence is very obvious though at first listen it doesn’t really stand out as much to me either. The b-sides on this album are amazing, and I think I might like most of them even a little more than the title track? I’ll go with Summer By Myself as one of my favourites, but I really like the other two songs as well. I only heard about Brave Girls this year after their incredible blow-up and it’s all so heartwarming, I hope the best for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The style of this song feels almost ‘dated’ in a way that I really enjoy. It really brings me back to the 2010s when this particular kind of dance beat was everywhere, especially in summer.

    It’ s similar enough to Rolling to have the same charm, but different enough to stand on it’ s own. I like it even though it is not quite as strong as Rolling or the mentioned famous Brave Brothers tracks.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. This song will inevitably suffer by comparison to Rollin’, but I think almost any song would. It’s perfectly serviceable, it does exactly what it sets out to do. It’s just not terribly exciting to me. But i’m happy to see the girls enjoying their time in the spotlight. We all needed a rags to riches kpop success story like this!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. This is quite the victory lap. Bright, summery, a big spash of energy.

    A bit noisy – right smack in the middle, for too much of the song, yes for me too.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. love it!….it’s the kind of kpop ‘Summer Queen’ bop we have been missing since Sistar disbanded….all the girls are looking beautiful and sounding awesome, especially my bias, Eunji….and while i’m not ready to just yet crown my girls the new ‘summer queens’ (not just for one comeback when Sistar did it year-after-year), i am, however, ready to give them that crown for summer 2021!….they have come back with a absolute bop!….the production is crisp and contagious and most importantly, the ladies look they are happy and having a lot of fun!….i love Brave Girls and am so grateful they did not disband….now, let’s see if Brave Brothers can keep this momentum going with at least another comeback before the end of the year (a full album would be nice)….keep fighting, Brave Girls!

    and, i have had the chance to listen to this comeback mini-album and when i say that each of the 5 songs on there are bops, please believe me….or, better yet, don’t believe me and take a listen for yourself and stream the hell out of it!


    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m not a big fan of this song. I do think Rollin was great, but there’s just too much in Chi Bat Ba Ram that doesn’t work for me. It’s doesn’t feel very purposeful, like the melodies are just off enough that it’s jarring to me. It’s also less catchy, less memorable and just noisier. Good for Brave Girls though for capitalizing quick but I do think any decent song would’ve gotten them on the charts regardless. Though people do like this song so good for them.

    As a summer song it does its job, but it isn’t the summer song for me. I do love Fever from the album though, even if it is very much not summery and retro instead. It just ticks a lot of what I like.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Noisy, same thought.
      I understand High expectation, high pressure. Everybody knew it’d be difficult to top a song like Rollin’ so maybe the only way they thought would work is to make it more upbeat and adding more high notes that used to be everybody’s fav in Rollin.


  14. It’s a little too frenetic and there are parts where I winced when the vocals almost crossed over into screeching territory.

    If you had told me that this same exact song was from DreamNote, I’d be praising it; both for falling precisely in their wheelhouse and for the energy it projects. However, this is a Brave Girls song, so I’m stuck on a fulcrum between fan and critic. I’ve loved Brave Girls since “I Don’t Know” (2011), so I want to give them some slack. Hopefully it’ll grow on me a bit more.

    Either way, always happy to see the girls and I wish them continued success.


    • Yeah, the borderline screechiness feeling is what really kills me every time I listen. Whoever sings probably isn’t even strained at all, but the notes just feel too high without any variation on melody or who’s singing those high notes so it just sounds like frantic albeit smooth yelling.


    • All these backhanded compliments… Nick you’ve got to do something about the steady stream of “the song was too upbeat and noisy but good luck to the girls :)” on your site it feels like nobody can enjoy things anymore!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure they’re “backhanded compliments.” But, I think in general you’re going to find more balanced commentary on this website than many other places. Less “this is the best song I’ve ever heard!” or “this is utter trash” and more “I like this song, but…”

        That tends to be my temperament as well, so it’s no surprise that the community follows suit. I moderate comments I find to be disrespectful, but other than that, people are free to think what they think and say what they say.

        With that said, I often wonder if readers feel I’m not enjoying K-pop just because I don’t lavish praise on most songs. I think many readers would be surprised how quickly I can take my critical hat off and fully enjoy a track despite some misgivings I may have about it. This Brave Girls song is a great example. Though I was critical of some things in my review yesterday, you better believe I was wholeheartedly bopping along in my car later in the afternoon! I think both things can exist at once 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

        • on a serious note (I know.. ..right?)

          I think your critic hat comes off more for boy bands, and that’s fine. Just makes you and the others that lean XY a good counterweight for those of us that lean XX. Admittedly, I don’t read all of your reviews when it’s boy band releases; but I probably should. There are a few groups that I really like (NCT n/x, Stray Kids, etc.).

          The regulars around here know you have an affinity for some girl groups and when you review a song from one of those groups, your stan slip shows.

          Regardless of the BB and/or GB brands, I think many of us can read between the lines and spot the releases that you like despite the flaws; simply because you’re a fan of the group and are willing to give them a little more rope. Welcome to being not just a fan of music, but also those that perform it.

          Not every dish a chef makes is going to be delicious, but if you hate the idea of your favorite restaurant getting shuttered, you’re going to gulp it down, grin/bear it, and skip that particular course next time; but you’ll still come back.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, most definitely. That’s one of the perks of writing a blog like this rather than some paid publication. I don’t always have to be objective or write glorified press releases. I do try to be fair and open-minded, but my personal favorite groups naturally have an edge. After all, they’re my favorites for a reason!

            Liked by 1 person

        • yes….i’m pretty new to your site, but from much of what i have read from you, i do ‘wonder sometimes if you like kpop’ or even if you just favor certain groups or soloists….i have honestly seen you give many more good reviews to jpop groups.

          with that being said, i agree that a person can like who they like and do not have to like everything everyone else likes….i appreciate your reviews and the work you put into all of this.



          • The difference between J-pop and K-pop on this site is that for J-pop I really only write about songs I like. For K-pop, I write about nearly everything that comes out, so there’s a much greater mix of opinion. I used to barely write about J-pop at all, but I’ve made an effort these past couple of years to include more of it.

            Rest assured, I not only “like” K-pop… I’m almost dangerously obsessed with it. And honestly, that’s why I can be hard on certain songs/trends/etc. I tend to be most critical over the things I love most.


      • Idols are mostly separate from the music production which is why people (and I) don’t clump the two together unless it’s an issue of vocal technique or performance. I can dislike a song and its producers in turn, but still be fine and invested in the members and the success of the group themselves. Of course, when the idols are the main producers, that’s where speculation can get personal but respect is always important even if the song isn’t great.

        Also, if people disliking a song ruins your enjoyment of a song, then you need to figure that out on your own. Same for this site. People will express their dislike for songs here so if you don’t want that, this site might not be for you.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Also..

          A lot of K-pop fandoms believe that you “have” to love everything a group drops or you’re not a true fan, but is that accurate? ..or truthful? ..or helpful? ..or fair? Isn’t it our job as fans to be honest in our assessment and/or our approval? Having a troupe of “Yes!” men following you around might be novel for a few moments, but it gets stupid very quick; unless you’re Ruby Rhod, then all bets are off.

          I see people walking around in RL dressed like clowns all the time, but I don’t tell them my opinion. Not out of fear, but out of apathy. But if I like you.. ..oh, man are you going to hear it; and I expect the same in return. In other words, if I truly like you, then I’ll talk to you truthfully.

          So yeah, I will serve up a side dish of platitudes with any criticisms I make in an effort to soften the blow. I’m also a smartass. I’ll tell you the pants you’re wearing should be sold with a pair of floppy shoes and a big red nose. I’ll tell you that your new hairdo is soo.. ..80s! And.. ..I’ll tell you that the new “Chi Mat Be Ram” song you just released is a little bit “too much Ritalin” and “nails on a chalkboard”. I’m not saying any of those things because I don’t like you; but because I do.

          There are other factors. I get in.. ..moods or slumps. I may be critical because I’m having one of “those” days, or I’m sick of a trend, or I’m just frumpy for no reason, or Nick ate all the damn pâté.. ..AGAIN! As a result, many of my posts here are peppered with the Captain Picard method of dressing someone down. I’ll tell you where you messed up, but I’ll end the talk on a positive note. Others here will offer up a grain of salt to soften a harsh sentiment, I’ve been known to offer up a “Lot’s wife” amount of it at times. That’s me being me.

          Liked by 1 person

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