Review

Song Review: Kep1er – Wa Da Da

Kep1er - Wa Da DaIt’s a K-pop tale as old as 2016: group forms through (usually controversial) survival show, group sells a boatload of albums in preorders, group releases a song that fans complain about but stream anyway. Of course, there are exceptions, but it feels like these cobbled-together, made-for-TV acts take awhile to find their bearings. The newly-debuted Kep1er includes Yujin of CLC alongside other familiar and notable faces. However, this might as well be a rerun. Wa Da Da is serviceable fun, but it’s clear the group will be following trends rather than creating them.

One of my 2022 K-pop resolutions was a break from the juvenile onomatopoeia hooks that have characterized way too many recent girl group tracks. Wa Da Da steps right into this mess during its chorus, which is easily its weakest point. The beat drop is exciting and energetic, but begs for an equally dynamic melody over the top. Instead, the girls cast off some gibberish. This approach is certainly catchy, but it’s the pop song equivalent of fast food. You’ll be singing (or shouting) along. Yet, the effect is short lived. There’s nothing to grab hold of. Thankfully, a sung post-chorus helps flesh out the arrangement.

Wa Da Da’s lackluster centerpiece is a shame because the song has potential. Verse one opens with a killer stomp, launching Kep1er’s career on solid footing. The swerving synths during the hook deserve more careful, attentive songwriting. I can easily imagine the enthralling chorus that might have spawned from their energy. And apart from a slight break during the second verse, Wa Da Da maintains a crackling energy. If only it didn’t succumb to so many of today’s worst K-pop instincts. But, could we really expect anything different from an MNET-sponsored project like this?

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

25 thoughts on “Song Review: Kep1er – Wa Da Da

  1. You might have noticed it as well but since you didn’t mention it…

    Doesn’t the chorus sound like Secret Triangles chorus instrumentally?

    Like

    • Oh yes I see it now, though I didn’t before.

      But for some reason, even if Secret Triangle had a much more stop-start structure, I still think I enjoy that more than Wa Da Da. Maybe it’s because of the “WE’RE SCREWED!!” climax

      Like

  2. It sounds like a blender of everything we liked from every debut over the past few years. Sometimes this approach works fine. Sometimes, well, it just sounds like a blender of every song. This part like that one, that part like this one.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. The moment it dropped, i already thought “nick won’t like this”. though, that was something we were predicting given the sound of the teasers. if i’m being honest, i actually think it’s better than my expectations for it.
    my main complaint is that it feels incomplete, like every single verse is dropped with a major part missing. i don’t know, it’s just that the song doesn’t fit together like i feel it should.

    at least mvsk is a banger. i think of it as pantomime by wjsn if they wanted it to reach a wider audience.

    Liked by 3 people

    • actually, now that i’ve mentioned that, i remember that i thought kep1er would basically be the wjsn for people who stan extremely popular groups exclusively. it’s so wild to me that they’ve opted for the everglow-esque route instead, seeing how it has worked for everglow themselves.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I will say that I think it comes more alive onstage -https://youtu.be/Zzl9eAcI1lk

    And I also want to highlight the e.one produced MVSK that is my favorite for them at the moment but (in my opinion at least) works better as a companion piece vs. a title track –

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This wasn’t as bad as I expected really! The MV was hella fun! And Wa Da Da in th chorus did not get under my nerves as much as I thought it would 😂 Live stages are gonna be cute anyway so I’m gonna enjoy that I guess.

    My favourite releases of today are Up10tion Crazy About You, Woozi Ruby and Blitzers Bobbin! I’m both excited as well as nervous about the possible upcoming reviews on them lol 🙃

    Liked by 2 people

  6. i followed girls planet over its very tumultuous runtime, as well as predebut period (the amount of fan wars on twitter…..), so I’m pretty invested in kepler’s future! unfortunately, given the title track selection, the same might not occur for their discography.

    The prechorus is the best part of this song imo (chaehyun & youngeun killed it), as well as the song’s thumping electric bass & (largely) unflagging rhythm, but everything else reads as an early-itzy reject. Though given itzy’s title tracks in 2021, perhaps it’s not bad to be an early itzy reject?

    otherwise, mvsk is far superior and I would LOVE to see kepler explore a spacey trance + electro club sound in the future (with a caveat that the concepts are age appropriate for the younger members)!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wasn’t too much of a fan. Just here to say that MVSK is great. I’m sure it’s a sentiment already shared by now (it’s stage video even has more views than the title track stage video, though that might be because it’s the only official video whereas WA DA DA has the MV too).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Okay so I’ve come onto here today to see like 38473894 songs so let’s start here.

    I didn’t watch G999 so have no expectations going into this. I like the verses but the chorus is lame as fuck.

    Also I checked out MVSK cos of the comments and found it boring ¯ \_(ツ)_/¯

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  9. I actually enjoy this, but this is me growing up surrounded by electronica music. I wish there was more meat on the chorus, especially during the second half of it, but other than that I can dance to this!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, Wanna One, IZONE and X1 (sigh…) all had great debut songs in my opinion. So those are some pretty notable exceptions.

    This is… you know, not as bad as I expected. I pretty much agree with Nick’s review on all points; it’s a song that starts out with great energy that is unfortunately flubbed by the trendy nothingness of the chorus. Still, I love the girls and I will subscribe to their newsletter.

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  11. I watched only the first 4 episodes of GP999 before stopping when school started back up again, so I can’t say I’m the most invested in the group (I keep telling myself I’m going to finish watching it, but I don’t know if that’s ever gonna happen haha). The song is better than what I expected from the teasers, as others have said here, but that chorus is particularly frustrating because it feels like the writers could have just put a little more effort and written an actual melody and the song would be much better for it, but instead they gave up and threw in some baby talk instead.

    I will repeat several others here and mention that I also like MVSK a lot, love e.one’s production.

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  12. I watched GP999 from the beginning and all of my faves made it into the final Kepler lineup, so I’m clearly biased. But trying to be completely objective as a Kpop fan for well over a decade, I think WaDaDa is a great start for them. It is reminiscent of chaotic debut songs of groups like STAYC or Itzy or Red Velvet or Twice or 2ne1. The video helps to establish some of the lore of Kepler and lets them tap into their more fun, silly side. MVSK is the better song, but it is a great balance to WaDaDa with a more sophisticated look and sound. The two songs really show the two sides to Kepler, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

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