Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – Bottom Of The Ocean

Golden Child - Game ChangerIt’s ‘Golden Child comeback’ time again, which means a track-by-track review of their new album, Game Changer! Check back each day of the week as I make my way through the ten new songs.

1. Game Changer (Intro) // 2. Ra Pam Pam // 3. Bottom Of The Ocean // 4. Fanfare // 5. Singing In The Rain // 6. Game // 7. Spell // 8. Out The Window // 9. Poppin’ // 10. That Feeling // 11. I Know

Bottom Of The Ocean

Let’s get the elephant out of the room first.

Bottom Of The Ocean is, inexplicably, Golden Child’s first English-language track. I find this baffling. Woollim has never shown much interest in catering toward English-speaking markets (part of the reason I love them), and as far as I know Ocean isn’t being designed as a special single. Assuming the original demo was pitched in English, it would’ve been easy to translate the lyrics into Korean. Yet, someone at Woollim thought poetic magic like “I wanna see what her mama made” was too perfect to change?

That particular line is the worst offender in an uneven set of lyrics. It’s a super creepy come-on, especially when performed by such angelic-sounding voices. The rest of the verses and pre-chorus aren’t so pervy, but they’re clunky nonetheless. On the plus side, the phrases aren’t straining to be cute or clever (looking at you, Dynamite…). They’re just dumb fun. And while much of the track struggles to sound authentic, the chorus paints clear imagery that works as an effective anchor. Nautical pun intended.

(I mean, the sea and the ocean aren’t technically synonymous, but I think the conceit works.)

Lyrics aside, Bottom Of The Ocean is going to be loved by those who love it and despised by others. You either revel in this One Direction style power pop or find it absolutely cloying. I have a high tolerance for cheese in pop music, especially when it’s sprinkled over bright, buoyant instrumentals and great choruses. For me, Bottom Of The Ocean is as close to “guilty pleasure” as you’re going to get. I embrace it with no irony.

I love this driving pop rock style. It’s predictable to a fault, and that’s charming. The song is turbo-loaded, bounding out of the gate with 80’s guitar riffs and stomping percussion. Unless I’m mistaken, there’s even a touch of cowbell. The verses are fun and flippant, but Bottom Of The Ocean’s chorus vaults the track to another level. The melody soars here, blossoming to deliver a climactic wave of energy. This is bolstered by an excellent synth line that injects a piercing texture to the production. Apart from its chanted bridge, Ocean is entirely rap-free – a rarity in upbeat idol pop. I wouldn’t wish this for every track, but I appreciate just how unabashedly bubblegum it is. Switch off your inner critic and let its gawky charms whisk you away.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9


30 thoughts on “Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – Bottom Of The Ocean

  1. I loved this track from first listen.
    The verses almost have a radio country delivery which I really love in a cheeky way. Then we get that The Car’s-esque chorus and I am rocking out to it.


  2. Oh boy, I can definitely do without this one. I feel like I’m listening to the latest Nickolodeon-created band on a teen show set in Nashville.


  3. The very very first opening chords remind me a lot of Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones. The rest of the song to be honest sounds like a One Direction-style song.

    I do give them extra points for even more cowbell. Is it almost too much cowbell? (what?!) ‘

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your comment on the skeezy English line reminds me of the debate in ONEUS/WE’s predebut show about whether the lyrics to “Versace on the Floor” were sexy. I usually assume that at least the person who arranges the song will run the lyrics through google translate, but I guess that isn’t always the case.

    I didn’t playlist this one, but it’s due another couple of listens. I totally didn’t notice it was all English the first couple of times though – that might sink it for me, the (mostly) unintelligible lyrics are part of why I listen to Korean music in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This made it on the rock playlist, but gosh I wish I could unhear some of those lyrics. Whoever’s doing the ad libs on the last chorus (sounds like two people) sounds great.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You — with your thousand Taeyeon comments — accusing someone else of being “biased” is rich, to say the least…

      But if you had bothered to do even the slightest amount of research about this blog, you’d know how foolish this statement makes you look.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. I really liked this one! Maybe it helps that it reminds me of my Directioner roots haha. The lyrics are definitely cheesy and I could do without those but ever since I got into kpop a couple of years ago I’ve realised I don’t much care for lyrics unless something really happens to strike a chord with me, and I can just nod along with the song otherwise. A day later now that I’ve given the album a couple of listens, I don’t think Bottom of the Ocean is on my list of immediate favourites, but this album is so strong that I still like this song a fair amount.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hate this song. It’s kinda weird, because someone said they felt like BOTO is an extended version of Make Me Love, and I really like Make Me Love (except for that cringy opening of Jangjun). As a veteran fan of Woollim music for years, I gotta say Woollim just has a bad track record with English in general…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Song’s melody is incredible! I love that synth texture which pops during it and I love the cheesiness!

    But…the lyrics…
    Never again, Woollim.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – Fanfare | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  9. Pingback: Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – Singing In The Rain | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  10. Oof, I couldn’t finish this. The lyrics were, as you say, clunky to put it mildly. But is it just me, or does the production sound super cheap?
    I acknowledge that everyone has a particular aversion to music that reminds them of their awkward tween years, and this is way too 2002 in the worst possible way for me.


  11. Pingback: Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – Game | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  12. If I ignore that particular lyrics, this is a pretty enjoyable song. One Direction has some enjoyable songs (they got better as time went on) and I think the song goes the right directions that it takes a lot elements I appreciate, from the melody, to the noise-heavy guitar in the chorus. It all works out.

    Though, can we delete the lyric, “I wanna see what your mama made” from ever existing. I could live without it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – Spell | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  14. Pingback: Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – Out The Window | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  15. Pingback: Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – Poppin’ | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  16. Pingback: Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – That Feeling | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  17. Pingback: Golden Child GAME CHANGER: In-Depth Album Review – I Know | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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