Review

Buried Treasure: CIX – Genie In A Bottle

CIX - Genie In A BottleA K-pop group’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.


This week in K-pop followed 2021 trends, with the release of a few albums promoted by odd title track choices. I thought CIX’s Wave was a total bore – the kind of dance track that’s weirdly hard to dance to – but the album has at least four b-sides that would have made a stronger impression. Be Ok’s sequencing is odd, with all its uptempo tracks up front and the slower stuff in the back. But, those upbeat offerings are pretty solid, with Genie In A Bottle sticking out as an obvious highlight.

No, this isn’t a cover of Christina Aguilera’s 1999 hit (wouldn’t that be awesome?). Its influences reach even further back into pop music history, harnessing an old school groove. Where Wave churned and lumbered, Genie’s brisk rhythm brims with funk. I love its use of varied percussion and guitar. The different tones give the beat a nice sense of depth, but the production is never cluttered. Plenty of open space allows the track to breathe. And though the drums switch up here and there, the momentum remains tight and single-minded.

Genie In A Bottle’s melody mainly serves to accentuate its groove, and that’s the way it should be in a song like this. CIX tether their vocals to the rhythm, skirting through the percussion with ease. The chorus is especially potent, as their voices forge together in an airy, exciting blend. It’s a relatively simple refrain that glides with confidence. It’s simply mind-boggling that this song wasn’t chosen for promotion, depriving us of the fun choreography that would have spawned from such a dynamic sound.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


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11 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: CIX – Genie In A Bottle

  1. I had a very strong feeling that Genie in a bottle would’ve been your Buried Treasure for the album and it looks like I was right.

    I really like the track but I myself would’ve chosen Bad Dream. It has a smooth and slightly quiet rhythm however for me it doesn’t feel boring in it’s production compared to songs like “Piece of your heart” by Meduza.

    I feel personally it’s the best attempt at a modern club song that a kpop group has put out in recent time.

    Like

  2. I like the funk elements, but the close harmonies on the chorus does a nails-on-the-chalkboard thing to me. “Bad Dream” was my only playlist from this release.

    Like

    • It sounds like Melodyne with the chord effect on. (aka not sung harmonies) And the effect warps their voices like what we usually call autotune to sound more tinny and robotic like, or maybe they added extra robot sound because they liked it.

      I sound like I know what I am talking about, sure, yeah. But really also my bff Adam Neely just uploaded this one all about the same topic.
      ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxX2u8iggYI

      (I love the part where the older singers are singing blues notes right in the middle so they are singing both major and minor at the same time.)

      Like

  3. I like this song a lot, but I wish they didn’t lean on the vocal processing button so hard.

    Also this morning I listened to Pentatonix covering BTS Butter+Dynamite, and even they leaned on the processing button too hard. Maybe they had to match the original better? (Also, if you are so tall, please don’t stand in front of the short girl, stand parallel to her. Its just a nice courtesy. Just saying.)
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nQn7zj9sQg

    On a related topic, I came across Shinee Lucifer (in Japanese?!), which in the backing vocal also uses keyed harmonies, and yet because the guys are belting full out with their natural voices on the melody, it actually works.
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHlMuz23rIY

    Like

  4. I like the song, even with the knowledge that the harmonies are mostly artificial. There is a groove and there are a lot of switch-ups that don’t ruin the song surprisingly. I love the off kilter percussion too.

    Liked by 1 person

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