Song Review: Ciipher – Blind

Ciipher - BlindYou can’t always judge a book by its cover, and you can’t always judge a rookie by their debut song. K-pop history is full of strong groups who debuted with subpar material (Girl’s Day and ZE:A say hello), and we may need to add Ciipher to that list. Last spring’s I Like You was an oddly low-key effort, with generic production and an amateurish performance. But with follow-up Blind (콩깍지), the guys have vaulted to a whole new level. While the song is still rough around the edges, its standout drop and addictive energy reinvents Ciipher’s sound in a compelling way.

Like so many K-pop tracks, Blind works in fits and starts. Its verses are its weakest element, dialing back too far on energy. From what they’ve presented so far, Ciipher seem to be a hip-hop focused group, and the song’s rap makes an impact. But, I wish the melodies offered the same jolt.

Thankfully, this is not an issue during the pre-chorus and hook. These segments are fantastic, and easily make Blind a standout effort. The pre-chorus build is enthralling, underlined by robust synth as the percussion gathers steam. It’s not particularly original, but it’s executed very well. This leads into a wonderful guitar riff, powering the simple, chant-along chorus. Usually, I’d be pining for more melody, but Blind’s hook has a gawky playfulness that’s surprisingly satisfying. The song grows even stronger when the vocals are allowed to soar, injecting additional power into the breakneck pace of the instrumental. This is the kind of unabashedly big energy I hope to see from rookies.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


15 thoughts on “Song Review: Ciipher – Blind

  1. This would have been a killer debut, but alas… That’s alright, this song is still a killer comeback.

    I already had a good feeling about “Blind” when Lina and Una from Hallyureviews retweeted Ciipher’s audio snippet on Twitter! I mean… come on! Those electric guitars in the chorus is so nice.
    Given how most of the group’s discography are self-composed (Tag, a member of Ciipher, along with a non-idol composer), I’m definitely a lot more optimistic in where this group will go from here on out!

    I really hope people give this song a listen. This is such a huge leap in improvement via music production.

    P.S. I’m still hoping Rain does not screw this group up…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I gave their debut EP another listen and immediately remembered why I didn’t like “I Like You” – the heavy autotune. “Give Me Love” was pleasantly funky enough for the playlist – I like the guitar and harmonies. “Fire” didn’t really do it for me but there was some interesting stuff happening there, and with “Fall in Love”.

      I’m not the sophisticated listener a lot of you all are, but I think I can hear the improvement in production going into the new EP that’s got y’all so excited. “Blind” sounds really nice on the good headphones and makes me wish I had a roller rink playlist (it’ll have to be happy on the euro/future bass/synth playlist). There are some sounds I just don’t like in “Joker” but it also has some interesting stuff going on in the instrumental. Shrugs on the rest of the EP.


  2. vocal improvement, production improvement, mv improvement, rap improvement, dance improvement. Mad respect. They also seem to have group positions now, or I can just finally tell whose job is whose.

    Glad they have a budget now and were given major direction when it came to production and arrangement.


  3. Yes!! Even I was taken aback by how the production in this had definitely amped uo compared to the debut!! The pre-chorus & chorus are definitely the most attractive parts!! This style really seemed to fit them better too! It is chill but also energetic! The bgm, especially the guitar riffs really caught me off guard – I went in with no expectations and got exactly the kind of song I love!🤗❤️


  4. I’m in a tiny minority, but I REALLY liked I like You because of its awkwardness. And Fire from their debut was strong, strong, strong.

    I’m pretending this is another group cause I liked weird debut Ciipher. But this is a really solid track that will be going on the roller rink playlist. Maybe the rest of the album will mesh the two sides.


    • Ok, I listened once. Nothing as good as Fire. It might grow on me, but it sounds like of like everyone else. Not that I usually mind. But here’s the song in question, and man, I hope they still keep exploring interesting melodies.


      • I tried. And even though TAG, Keita, and Won wrote all or part of everything on the new album and the band produced the whole thing and did a great job, and on and on and on, I miss my gangly ramshackle debut Ciipher. Maybe talk to me in a year.


    • (I guess this is a jab at my comment haha. It’s ok. No offense taken here! ^^)

      I’ve never thought it like that initially and I think that’s a good way to look at it! 🙂
      I guess there’s a pro and con as to whether or not a strong debut with a weak comeback or vice versa is better. But regardless, in Ciipher’s case, I definitely feel a lot more comfortable about their music now rather than being disappointed and scared.
      I got a soft spot for self-composed artists (i.e. Pentagon, B1A4, Woodz, and so much more) so I’m feeling a lot more optimistic in what Ciipher will have in store for us.

      I know your comment is super short but regardless thank you for sharing yours!


  5. Late to the party. The boys sell the shit out of this song. Objectively speaking, the song is Okay, but clearly OK enough to get it polished way way up with extra sparkles.

    Liked by 2 people

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