Review

Random Shuffle Review: Wonder Girls – Be My Baby

Wonder Girls - Be My Baby

With over 3,000 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.

The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!


Year Released: 2011

The year was 2011 and it seemed that Wonder Girls may be the first K-pop group to “break the States.” After all, they’d already scored a top-100 Billboard hit (the first K-pop act to do so!). An English-language album was teased, a TV-movie was filmed, and promotional activities were in full swing. It seems almost quaint now, but groups like this don’t get the credit they deserve for laying the groundwork that helped this current K-pop generation expand their overseas presence. Of course, that full English album never materialized, their TeenNick movie came and went, and the group continued to find their greatest success with a domestic fanbase.

Be My Baby was a big Korean comeback, slotted a few months before that movie and nearly two years after member Sunmi took her hiatus. It remains the group’s highest-selling single, and an iconic song within their repertoire. Produced by agency-head Park Jinyoung, the track does a great job blending their signature retro sound with the energetic electropop that was hot at the time.

I feel like I’ve been complaining about K-pop melody often lately – particularly when it comes to girl group songs. Be My Baby suffers none of this, as every segment pulses with a well-constructed hookiness. The verses have a wonderful throwback quality, riding that distorted synth beat with a playful melody that swoops and glides toward the rhythmic pre-chorus. The central hook is a big sing-along. It traces the same lines as the energetic synth that opens the track. Sometimes I wish the production felt a little sharper here (it’s very 2011!), but it’s hard to argue with the song’s overall effect. An exciting rap carries us toward a dynamic final-chorus key change, amping the energy as Be My Baby takes a deserved victory lap. There may be several Wonder Girls singles I enjoy more, but this is iconic for a reason!

 Hooks 10
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

6 thoughts on “Random Shuffle Review: Wonder Girls – Be My Baby

  1. Aah I love Wonder Girls! So this is a great random shuffle for me. Probably my favorite group before TWICE took the first spot (although f(x) was a contender too). Especially I Feel You, Candle, Tell me and So Hot. Wonderful songs. I loved the live band versions Wonder Girls did during their 2015 comeback and I do own a copy of Reboot, which was difficult to get here in The Netherlands :p

    Like

  2. I remember exactly where I was when I first watched the video. Wonder Girls remains my favorite group and this is still my favorite song by them. I was happy to see that Billboard put it at #13 of their 100 Greatest K-Pop Songs of the 2010s.

    Like

  3. Ah, yes, actual melody. Just yesterday, Kara “Step” and “Lupin” popped up on my random shuffle in the car and it is so much fun to actually sing along to an actual melody. They also knew how to slot the obligatory rap section in better back in the 2nd – 3rd gen songs to make the song flow better.

    This one here is a good classic pop song construction, somuchso that one can imagine this produced in almost any decade styling.

    Like

  4. As a nearly day 1 wonderful I’ve been bitter about this song for AGES – mainly because Sohee’s voice couldn’t hold the vocal line in this (it was the pitch) for the verses in the way I felt Sunmi or Sunye could’ve – so reading this review was refreshing and reminded me that I actually did have fun with this song.

    Also, this ALBUM!!! What a time ‘Wonder World’ was – so diverse in sound scape, lots of cool experimentation and some interesting duo songs plus Lim’s solo. A really solid body of work for sure.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.