Review

Song Review: Golden Child – Ra Pam Pam

Golden Child - Ra Pam PamWhen it comes down to it, what makes a “bias” group? It’s a complicated formula – one that starts and ends with the personal connection you feel to the members and their music. Golden Child haven’t yet released my favorite single in any year since debut, but their appeal runs deeper than a single song. Post-2018, their sound has shifted almost every comeback, nudged along by a revolving door of producers. This is usually a big “no” from me, yet the guys always pull it off through sheer force of personality (and talent!). Is Ra Pam Pam the sound I want to hear from Golden Child? No, not at all. But, they make it work.

I could say the same about January’s Burn It, which rode its reggaeton beat to great success and remains one of 2021’s very best tracks. Ra Pam Pam sidesteps slightly into moombahton, driven by layers of percussion. It’s not nearly as strong as Burn It, but that may be down to personal taste. Golden Child are at their best when allowed to stretch their incredible vocals. Ra Pam Pam’s structure is too clipped and chant-heavy to take full advantage of that asset, though the dramatic bridge offers much-appreciated fireworks.

From verse to chorus, the entire track is fueled by its insistent roll of percussion. This lends Ra Pam Pam great consistency but blunts its overall power. Rather than a series of peaks and valleys, we get into the groove early and never really take off from there. Given the absence of a truly killer melody, the guys have some heavy lifting to do. Their dynamic performance buoys each segment, even as the song refuses to break out of its shell. The chorus – a mix of swirling vocals and onomatopoeia chants – is catchy from the get-go, and repeated often. However, I wish the ‘Ra Pam Pam’ refrain felt more celebratory and less plodding. It’s a little flimsy compared to Burn It’s cathartic climaxes.

Yet through it all, the clarity of Golden Child’s vocals shine through. I love how verse two filters out and in again, adding movement to a melody that threatens to stall. The rap is well-incorporated, and that aforementioned bridge builds to a flourishing performance capped by a breathless power note. In short, Golden Child surpass their material. Now, who do I have to bribe to get a sleek, powerful dance track promoted next time around?

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.5

28 thoughts on “Song Review: Golden Child – Ra Pam Pam

  1. First thoughts – A much better version of Omega X’s Vamos.

    It’s not nearly as bad as I expected, but as Nick has said, I kept waiting for some kind of dance break or something that would up the energy. I really like Burn It – it is honestly the only song that can challenge Blood, Sweat and Tears in its genre – this is like a more Latino, less EDM version of it. For me it biggest calling cards are – One, yes, I don’t know why but something about their performance certainly uplifts the song – Secondly and more importantly, it’s incredibly catchy. The chorus has been stuck to the inside of my head with superglue, and I just can’t get it out. 8.5 for me too.

    Also, fanfare might be my favorite Golden Child song yet. (which isn’t saying much as I’ve only started getting into them.)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I was very worried about where this track is going, musically in the teasers. The direction wasn’t really what I expected, and it reminded me instantly of Burn It, in an arrangement sense of the chorus. Now, the verdict for me is that this song is just creatively better, more compact, has more flair and vocal excellence than even Burn It can ever pull off. I didn’t love Burn It at first, I was more neutral and skeptical. This time is very different. As what I felt of Permission To Dance, I saw this one not for its rather highlighted blunders, but for the creativity, difficulty and musical direction the track explored. It was for the first time I knew Golden Child was progressing, musically. A paramount of success for them already.

    Golden Child is one of those rare groups that have amazing vocals, singles, b-sides, performances and charisma. This one definitely tops my books. The chorus can be tedious and repetitive, but the ‘To you’ part definitely saved the song from catastrophe. The music video is full of conceptual Marxist struggles in the near future. I mean look at the hypothetical modern day destruction of the planet and see that we are really fighting the culture war, and class war. But enough of what you call non-sense and lurching storyline (not in my opinion though), I would really say this one is interesting, vivid, festive, and at the same time, depressing, dramatic and eerie.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Burn It” holds up extremely well. I’m not so sure about this one, but it’s too early. The instrumentation is nothing much to write home about (it doesn’t quite have as nice a hook as the whistle hook of “Burn It” for example), but the melody is strong and their vocals really make something of it. I hope the album is solid though! (I assume it gets the track-by-track treatment?)

    Like

      • Fanfare is the best track! Spell and Bottom of the Ocean are nipping at its heels though, This Album is more than Solid..and I have a hunch that Golden Child will destroy the b-side list this year.

        This Kind of Reminds me of The SHINee Situation from February, Where we had three incredibly strong songs which could’ve been singles but they chose a title track which didn’t represent the guys at all. Let us just hope that just like the SHINee Situation, The Guys will fire back with a title track which is strong than its predecessor for the re-package.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yep, it reminds me of the Don’t Call Me album: solid but somewhat underwhelming title track with a “new sound” for the group, flanked by a few excellent b-sides that take advantage of the qualities that make the group who they are.

          Now, what kind of shrine/alter/sacrifice do we need to make for them to bust out an Atlantis for the repack??

          Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s alright. I’ve only listened to it twice so maybe it’ll grow on me, but I can definitely tell that it won’t live up to my favorite Golcha songs (the BLSSD trilogy title tracks). Maybe a 7.5 for me, nothing’s catching my attention so far aside from the raps.

    The album’s pretty solid. I’m really liking Fanfare and Spell 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You took to this song a lot better than I thought haha.

    It’s definitely a good enough song, the vocals are definitely the highlight, but the percussion definitely drives the song. I wouldn’t say it’s an amazing song, but it’s got a lot of good elements that remind me of their old trilogy except a bit more moombahton. I’m not that versed with Golden Child anyway, so I enjoyed the song. I did kind of expect a worse score, it’s higher than mine’s but it’s Golden Child which is like the #1 group of this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a strong performance, but I agree that the consistent beat keeps the song from taking off.

    I appreciate the wholehearted commitment to a nuclear fallout (?) concept though. I feel like story-based MVs are less prevalent these days. And I love the “is he gonna survive the radiation poisoning?” finger twitch shot for Daeyeol at the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am a bit disappointed with this song, especially since it came after the glorious one-two punch of Burn It and Breathe. The Melody falls a bit short, and the song doesn’t build to an excellent climax which I expected for…But I expect it to grow on me, because it is GOLDEN CHILD we are talkin about! They perform the hell out of the track and Carry the song across the finish line. The Song envokes some incredible drama and I am all here for it, but like I said before, this does appear a bit disappointing.

    So That Is why I’ll focus on the b-sides. Bottom Of The Ocean has a killer melody, and I love the driving rock guitar (lyrics are a bit cringe though), Spell is so GOOD! Sleek, propulsive and awesome.

    But..There is a certain song which DESERVED promotion…and that is Fanfare! It reminds me alot of JO1’s Born To Be Wild, which makes sense giving its producers are 13 TEAM. The Chorus is a f*cking juggernaut and the vocals are extremely powerful, The Climax is out-of-this-world! It really feels like a good successor to Burn It and I wish it was given promotion.

    It was a really easy choice this time Woollim, Couldn’t you just have taken it as the title track?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My 2021 B-sides list is going to be filled with songs suffering from major FOMO. Can you imagine a year with mvs and promotions for Fanfare, Take Me Home, Reach Out Your Hands, I Really Want You, Prism, etc etc etc?? I’d honestly implode with happiness.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Normally, I would dislike this type of song since I find it a bit tedious and underwhelming, but somehow I kind of like this one. There may be a bit of bias (like come on, it’s Golden Child), but oddly this song is a good listen. When I first heard the teaser, I was a bit shocked to hear such sound from them, or even from Stardust themselves. I was honestly prepared for the worst, but it somehow exceeded my expectations.

    The song is not bad, but I can’t say it is great so I’m putting it in the “good”. There’s absolutely no build up in the song’s duration, or so I thought I guess. From start to finish, it’s all the same energy; to some it might become boring and repetitive, but I think it makes the song hold up until the end. I kind of wish it had more punch compared to their BLSSD produced title tracks.

    What really attracted me to the song was the vocals and rap, because goodness were they so good! Daeyeol is back at it again, man his voice was the stand out for me. I could gush about his vocals, but I’m saving it for Twitter. I think it’s a solid 8 for me!

    Also, is it just me, or the song sounds like a toned down version of an Infinite song?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I gotta say I liked this. However, it’s a type of song that is really enhanced by the performance. Seriously the choreo is well suited and the mv is a whole movie. Jangjun and Bomin’s dance surprised me, but I loved it. Not my favorite release, but I’m certainly not disappointed. Can’t wait to listen to the b sides now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Eh, it is too one note for me. I like the percussion but there’s just no oomph. I much muchhhh prefer their style on One (Lucid Dream) and Wannabe (esp One).

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’d have liked more latin and less moombahton, but at this point I’m more invested in you (i.e actual GOLCHA fans) being happy with GOLCHA than me being happy with GOLCHA. I’ll give the whole thing a listen with the good headphones later – “Fanfare” sounds like it could be a highlight.

    I recently watched a bunch of the “DamDaDi” stages, and wow were those fun, even with the (to me) somewhat cringy uniform costumes.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ah yes, Stardust (Razer), our counterpart to BLSSD (Bee) both of which used to be under one team. I still think they release their best material when they work together. I still hope they’ll work together again at some point. Also, I’m finding it difficult to keep track of their names, they change it so often haha!

    I think Nick really hit the head on this one. Had this song been slapped to another boy group, reception likely would’ve been negative. Despite Kpop’s current obsession with onomatopoeia and guns, these guys’ voices managed to pull it out of the muck. Both collectively and individually the boys made this song a lot more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. WHOOOA – eh no disappointment here…I love GOLDCHA’s sultry, darker, percussive side. The single trilogy (wanna be, without you, one (lucid dream)) is what drew me to the group, so seeing some colors of that here is making me happy.

    Tag’s melodic rap really impressed me – however short- I loved hearing that shout sung rap before the bridge break down. Also Y’s power note into Joochan’s solo adlibs is true sonic art.

    The whole group is shining !!

    yah there are better songs in the discography but this alongside a full-length album has me very happy.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I feel like they song took every negative aspect of the “dark” Golden Child and put it together in a song. I loved almost every title track they’ve released since debut, but this just ain’t it. I can’t believe my two favorite groups made comeback on the same day and both disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This comeback is a bit of a let down for me. My heart sank at the beginning of the song, but it did get better as it went on, in particular when tag and jangjun took over from the second chorus. That in itself was kind of an interesting ride, but it never got good enough to be on par with other golden child comebacks.
    On another note, I can’t believe how many reviews you wrote today. Hopefully comebacks will get a tiny bit more spaced out.. for yours and the artists sakes

    Liked by 1 person

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