Review

Song Review: WayV – Ten & YangYang – Low Low

WayV - Ten & YangYang - Low LowWayV’s Ten has been a busy guy. After releasing his solo Paint Me Naked last week, he’s teaming with fellow WayV member YangYang for another English-language dance track. Low Low takes more influence from hip-hop, though the song doesn’t actually include any rap. Instead, it finds comfort in a breezy, head-nodding beat that matches well with the duo’s slick vocals.

I’m not sure why we’re getting so many English tracks lately (who am I kidding? I’m totally sure!), but I’m eager for this trend to slow. I hate when K-pop bends over backward to cater toward Western audiences. I first became interested in the industry due to its unique charms. To see those aspects smoothed over for maximum global appeal is depressing, to say the least. But despite some cringy lyrics (the yo-yo analogy is… lame), Low Low somehow feels more authentic.

I definitely prefer this to Paint Me Naked. It doesn’t try to be too many things, luxuriating in its bouncy dance beat and wrapping its melodies around that structure. Ten and YangYang are both charismatic performers, and their light vocals give Low Low an appealing personality. Most of the song’s refrains are borrowed from other tracks within this genre, but in this case the whole proves to be more enticing than the parts. That’s largely thanks to the production, which has a single-mindedness that keeps the groove going. And when the instrumental takes center stage during Low Low’s finale, its added synths are a real treat.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

15 thoughts on “Song Review: WayV – Ten & YangYang – Low Low

  1. I might take it anyway. I mean I shouldn’t. This isn’t “Baby Don’t Stop” v21. And it gets a bit copy and paste, literally, as the chorus is the same way every single time.

    Since some will ask: Sure, they aren’t the most original lyrics but at least it is a rhyme and it is a fun rhyme because how many songs reference yo-yo’s.
    low low, yo-yo, let go
    I wish the “let go” line was “something something go go”, for symmetry.

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  2. I feel like the fact that both Ten and Yangyang speak English pretty much fluently helps with this sounding better than a lot of kpop English tracks. It’s not just the better pronunciation but also the timing/inflections being better placed, which I’ve found to be lacking a lot of the time when it’s clear that the artist isnt comfortable with the language they’re singing in. That being said, the yo yo line is truly unfortunate

    Liked by 1 person

    • Although I disagree about yo-yo, which perfectly fine for me, I agree wholeheartedly on your comment about singing in English. There is the enunciation and there is also the inflection. How and where to play with the language. Ten and YangYang do a great job.

      And its not necessarily about pronunciation without an accent – heck, half of 80’s power rock in the US was really German or something. Its about how many ways to sing simple words like “baby” or “love” and make it sound cool and not bad. How to use the vowels and consonants to your advantage.

      Anyway, here is a good one from non-native English speakers singing in English, an oldie but goodie Klaus Meine and Morten Harket duet.
      ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybikwYRVZbc

      Liked by 1 person

    • I understand Nick’s scepticism about K-pop groups singing in English (even though I don’t necessarily share that scepticism, and even though there’s an argument to be had about whether WayV are “K-pop”). K-pop has unique traditions and conventions, and sacrificing those means you end up in the wilderness of “Permission to Dance”/

      But I think context is everything. And in the particular circumstances of this song – with a Thai singer who went to an international school and a Taiwanese rapper who grew up in Germany, both of whom speak English fluently – it may be that English is their “strongest common language”, as it were. (I know both can speak Mandarin and Korean, but I don’t think the song would necessarily be improved by translating it into Ten’s third or fourth language.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess the one somewhat reassuring part of this top 40 push so far is that the all-English tracks seem to be reserved for special projects and not title tracks (and don’t prove me wrong MCND, because I’d hate to be mad at you boys). This is fine, and I’d be happy to watch some stages, but it’s not a playlist track.

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  4. the mv was fun and i enjoyed the song too but its not really something i would add to my playlist. its not because its english i dont mind english songs from korean artists or english lines being used more in kpop, it just didnt have the thing to attract me enough

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  5. I totally get the english-authenticity thing, but yes it definitely doesn’t feel forced or out of place here. It obviously helps that they’re both english speakers, and the fact the song is in english does actually makes sense considering that the two have mentioned a few times that even off-camera they communicate in english, so it’s probably more natural for them anyway, rather than in chinese, a la xiaojun and kun (although i guess all this would only be knowledge to fans and not the casual listener. Their inflections and pronunciation here, as others mentioned above, are a strong indicator of this though)

    But to further on that, I think a lot of this song is quite dependent on the chemistry between the two, they bounce off and balance each other well. They’re both charismatic guys so, even if this isn’t the most groundbreaking song to come out this year, it makes for a pleasant viewer/listener experience anyway. It’s definitely breezy and funn

    I believe the last WayV unit to release a song will be Lucas & Hendery, which im very curious to see as to what they put out🤔

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  6. i am an American, but as a pure kpop fan / stan, i agree with you on the barrage of English-language kpop songs….in all honesty, some artists / groups do not do a good job at it….of course, there are some exceptions (like now and with a few others – BTS, Girls’ Generation, Wonder Girls, etc.)….i can understand individual kpop artists and groups branching out to expand their earnings and fanbase, but i agree with you that the influx is getting nauseating….take for example BTS….i think they do a pretty good job of transcending into the US markets….songs like “Butter” and “Dynamite” were frickin bops and done very well, but after a few US-themed songs, i am ready to hear and see them get back to their kpop roots with songs like “Fake Love,” “Black Swan,” and “On.”

    all that said and done, i do like this comeback by Ten and YangYang.

    -mm

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  7. Off-Topic: Nick, I have a small request, Can you give a few recommendations for some of The Rampage’s Music? I really loved FullMetal Trigger, Call of Justice and Swag&Pride and was wondering if there was some other highlights..

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    • May I give some personal recommendations?

      Invisible Love- A title track, you might have heard it

      Down by law- Guitar-tinged goodness with a chorus with subtle strings

      Into the light- An EDM slow burn with a dramatic chorus

      Silver rain- An EDM track, with kind of lurching synths I know, but they pull it off well

      Nobody- Has a fun synthy, EDM chorus

      Liked by 2 people

    • My favorites (beyond the ones you already mentioned):

      All Day
      Dirty Disco
      Down By Law
      Dream On
      Elevation
      Frontiers
      Hard Hit
      Lightning
      New Jack Swing
      Shangri-La
      Summer Days
      100 Degrees

      Liked by 2 people

      • Glad to hear it! I was in a major Rampage mood from 2019-20, but have been underwhelmed by most of their work this year. I’m hoping for a resurgence because I really love the guys!

        If you’re interested in getting into other Exile groups, I’d start with the following albums:

        Fantastics – both albums — they’re so good!
        Exile – 19 – Road to Amazing World (the singles are SO epic)
        Generations – A Pierrot that Can’t Shed Tears Looked up at a Sky Without a Sun and Moon (again, epic singles… especially Pierrot and Sun & Moon)
        Sandaime J Soul Brothers – Planet Seven (RYUSEI and SAKURA are also… epic. The former gives me chills every time)

        Liked by 2 people

        • I can’t help but notice how Exile tribe’s concepts are waaaaaay more cooler than the ones in K-pop. Even the albums sound awesome! I mean “A Pierrot that Can’t Shed Tears Looked up at a Sky Without a Sun and Moon”?! That just sounds so cool and dramatic. I’ll make sure to check these groups out!

          Liked by 1 person

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