Song Review: DRIPPIN – Free Pass

DRIPPIN - Free PassAnyone have the phone number of Woollim Entertainment’s A&R team? We need to have a discussion…

DRIPPIN have been one of the year’s most promising rookies. In fact, they were my top pick of 2020! And while March’s Young Blood didn’t quite live up to their excellent debut Nostalgia, b-side Reach Out Your Hands offered a peek at how brilliant they could be when paired with a perfect pop song. Given their youthful energy and bright personas, the guys seem tailor-made for an upbeat summer comeback. Instead, Woollim have saddled them with the dull Free Pass.

To be clear, Free Pass isn’t a bad song. It’s more of a ‘nothing’ song. It’s largely hookless, with a mid-tempo groove that never distinguishes itself. Held back by this plodding rhythm, the track struggles to find its sweet summer energy. Instead, Free Pass circles around a series of generic refrains. I kept waiting for it to take off – or do something. Give me a shot of vocal harmony. Switch up the rhythm.

Free Pass’s credentials are strong, with a co-write from Monotree’s Inner Child. But, it feels like this song was plucked from the producer’s bargain bin. It’s clearly b-side material, lacking the punch of a great K-pop title track. DRIPPIN do the best they can with the threadbare material, and their exuberance elevates Free Pass in fits and starts. Its good-natured vibe might lend it more longevity than expected, but the guys would have been better off finding their own Let Me or DamDaDi. In fact, all they really needed to do is release Reach Out Your Hands and reap the rewards that a knockout song can deliver.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8


12 thoughts on “Song Review: DRIPPIN – Free Pass

  1. There is nothing wrong with this song other than it sounds like a dozen other bright concept songs. Also, the song and styling seem to skew young to the pre-teen and early teen set, which is fine for them but way too young for my taste. The kpop equivalent of a twenty-something playing a high school kid.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. It’s just…dull. The Melodies are kind of an ear-worm, but this song doesn’t do DRIPPIN Justice. Reach Out Your hands was full of life, oozing with charisma and hits hard!

    Free Pass…is just…the exact opposite of that. It just stays afloat and doesn’t do anything with the talent it’s given.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A lot of these current bright bg comebacks have been cute but uninteresting.

    It’s a bummer- because Woollim has proven they can pull of carefree, bright fun with Golden Child so many times. (they’re upbeat b-sides typically sound title track worth)

    “Let Me” was Goldcha’s second comeback/3rd single. So I don’t know how strong a “DRIPPIN is still figuring out their sound” argument holds. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    The song isn’t unenjoyable, but there needs to be more to enjoy!


  4. This immediately gave me a happiness boost. It’s bright and cheerful and very summery. I most definitely cannot be as hard on it as everyone else here. It’s charming; they’re charming.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think the fact that I’ve listened to Free Pass a couple of times now and I forget it every time is all I need to say. Wish is a much stronger track but it’s still no Reach Out Your Hands..


  6. Whenever I read ‘mid-tempo’ in the review, I’m pretty much ready to click off. I decided to give this a chance because it is Woollim, but it’s not for me.

    There’s some cute flourishes in the production, but overall it’s unpleasant and boring to my ears, especially the chorus.


  7. Nick-sama has given a Woollim song a 7.5? Impressive. 😯

    I thought it’d be raining cupcakes by now. Oh well. Although the temperature outside is -1° C right now, with a high possibility of *snow* falling, according to the weather forecast. And that in a pretty hot tropical country. I guess that must be in lieu of the cupcakes.

    Anyways, this morning I was thinking that this group’s threatening to become a one-hit wonder in my book, the hit being Nostalgia. Quite strange for Woollim, since for me both Infinite and Golcha had 3 solid bangers by their third release.

    I think this concept suits them the most out of all they’ve done so far, though, but I think that between Cravity’s back catalog, Ghost9’s latest release and somewhat discovering Platonic Love, I’ve set my bar for cutesy songs quite high recently.


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