I enthusiastically watched the entire NiziU project last year, happy to see many of my favorite personalities and talents make the final group. However, none of their post-show music has appealed to me. They’re one of those J-pop groups who pull a lot from K-pop tropes (JO1 and INI being other prominent examples), and this often results in a muddled sound that lacks its own identity. Sadly, new single Chopstick isn’t going to reignite my interest in the group.
For better or worse, Chopstick riffs on the familiar piano waltz of the same name – often one of the first songs learned by beginning pianists. I’m all for J-pop drawing from classical music, but I find the original Chopsticks somewhat irritating even in the best of times. Borrowing that foundation and adding even more irritating elements on top is… a choice. I have to hand it to the producers. It takes chutzpah to craft a track like this, and I’m sure its polarizing nature will appeal strongly to some listeners.
We all have our musical preferences, and in the coming days I’ll be raving about another J-pop song that some listeners will find equally cloying. But, Chopstick just ticks too many personal peeves. It’s plonky with an extra side of plonk. The vocals are pitched way too high and occasionally clash with the instrumental. The production is more percussive than melodic. The catchy chorus and standout rap cover some of these criticisms – especially when orchestral flourishes swell in the background. And honestly, Chopstick gets better as it goes on. I can fully understand why some fans might love this. But sadly, it’s another NiziU song that just isn’t for me.
I haven’t followed them super closely but there’s something very fun & charming about the audaciousness of taking the chopsticks piano song/concept and making it into a song. I can see why it would be divisive but all these girls seem very young(?) so I like it for that reason too – it feels appropriate for them
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This one is not for me. The concept is ok, even clever perhaps, but the execution is way way too kawaii girly voice for my own taste. It’s the aural version of a Hello Kitty store.
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I personally find Chopsticks fine (the waltz), maybe due to memories. However, this is just ouch. They are clearly talented, but I feel their material is too focused on mass appeal.
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That rap is so out of place, in a good way. I can’t remember many K(J)-pop songs with legitimately interesting and dynamic flow.
Besides that, I like the production and instrumental here. I’m going to guess that this is JYP, since he really loves putting these girls’ cutesy, high pitched voices over thick, droning bass. Usually I don’t mind it too much, but this song seems to be sung especially high when compared to their other tracks. The rest of their discography is also generally written better. Cool track, but probably not something I’ll listen to on repeat.
Other than that, the music video looks great. Lots of bright colors. Usually this would result in a color vomit video, except they’re mostly using light pastels, so it’s much easier on the eyes. Also, a ton of white. The 2nd chorus group shot looks fantastic in particular. The easy aesthetic choice would to put colorful outfits on a white background, but here they have white outfits on a colorful background. The outfits have just enough black/blue accents to stand out in front of the soft background colors.
Also… didn’t Yoohyeon wear that dress in Dreamcatcher’s “Because” music video?
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Rio was my favorite from the show but I hate how high pitched her voice goes. Honestly most of the girls go irritatingly high, which made the pre chorus a highlight for me. Those two (Nina and miu right?) Kinda stand out with their singing vocals. Rima’s rapping voice is also very distinct. Nothing annoys me more when I can’t tell who’s singing most of the time in a girl group. I hope eventually I’ll get to hear what the other girls voices sound like without the cuteness and nasality.
On a more positive note, the music video is really fun. I replayed it several times and it been a while since a j-pop or k-pop mv caught my attention enough for me to watch the video just for the video.
Sorry that this is unrelated, but are you reviewing B1A4’s release yesterday? It has an MV and it’s probably the last MV theyre gonna have in a while since Sandeul’s enlisting 😦
I actually tweeted about it last night. No review for this one:
And now the twitter mob is getting on my case. I swear, I’m so exhausted with the K-pop hive mind…
Saw someone wrote three paragraphs in the quote. You got them mad mad.
I don’t even know why? “Not the group they used to be” is true for so many acts… even my favorite ever K-pop group Infinite. As a fan, you’re allowed to dislike the direction a group is going and to voice that opinion.
I’m just so sick of the level of idol worship and “fandom activism” that’s crept up over the years. I mean, it’s always been a big part of the industry, but it’s getting out of hand and doesn’t serve anyone.
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Yeahhh especially with a group like B1A4 (who’s name doesn’t even apply anymore) but by losing the two people most responsible for their sound and die tity, they logically aren’t the same group they used to be. It shouldn’t even be a statement that gets people so upset tbh. Very unnecessary and immature actions but thats Twitter for ya.
Btw…saw that quote retweet number is at 40 now 😬😬😬
Ngl… Didn’t B1A4 even had shooters like that nowadays.
Oh god… I’ve muted the conversation because I was sick of the nasty notifications. Stans are something else. And the thing is, I’ve adored this group for ages. I’m not going to let them leave a bad taste in my mouth.
I don’t know why but something about this song makes me so happy lol, it sounds so fun
This is the craziest song I have heard in a while. Just… the audacity for it to exist at all. I admire it, even if it’s not my thing.
I looped back around to this with the album release, and yes, this is my kind of obnoxious.