Review

Song Review: BamBam (GOT7) – Slow Mo

BamBam - Slow MoI didn’t love BamBam’s solo debut, but his recent duet with Red Velvet’s Seulgi offered a different avenue for his talent. It turns out moody sounds fit him quite well, and that approach continues on new single Slow Mo. The track retains plenty of hip-hop influences, but they’re in service to a gentle, atmospheric melody.

Slow Mo lacks a featuring artist, placing BamBam’s vocals front and center. The hooks have a sing-song quality, but not in an obnoxious way. Instead, the verses circle around a catchy synth loop that lends them plenty of movement. This element has the potential to overstay its welcome, but Slow Mo switches things up for its chorus. The refrain has a gentle appeal, underpinned by a bed of synth accents. The instrumental finds a satisfying sense of depth, with different sounds tugging in different areas. No single texture stands out among the rest, giving the track an ephemeral, dreamlike quality.

In this streaming age of short attention spans, many new pop songs lack bridges. Slow Mo joins the trend, feeling a little incomplete as a result. At just two and a half minutes, it misses the opportunity to further develop its ideas. Both verse and chorus are solid, but once you’ve heard them once you’ve pretty much experienced all there is to Slow Mo. Apart from a nice synth solo before the final chorus, the track becomes too predictable. It will make a great addition to the album, but I think last month’s Who Are You was a much stronger single.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

16 thoughts on “Song Review: BamBam (GOT7) – Slow Mo

  1. I have a drum machine lost somewhere in my parent’s house that makes this exact snare sound.

    The song sounds to me like a BTS b-side. Soft and pastel. Pleasing and easy going on the chord progressions, with suitably vague lyrics so that the stans think they are deep and meaningful in their daily travails. The vocal stylings are like V in the verse and then the chorus as a chorus with a Jimin-type mixed to the front with occasional wafts of a Jin-type.

    Liked by 1 person

      • To generalize to What Makes Good Lyrics, one must consider first that asong lyric is a poem set to music. All the usual expectations for quality of a poem, plus that the lyrics must match the music, apply. (There are of course exceptions.) Things like:

        Rhyme, meter, rhythm
        Simile, metaphor, imagery
        Voice, theme, story
        Alliteration – assonance – consonance “The sounds of the city sifting through trees, settle like dust, on the shoulders, of the old friends” (Not kpop, but a very fine lyric from Simon& Garfunkel to illustrate all three of these more obscure concepts in one line.)

        Some examples:
        “Sorry Sorry” is a textbook example of meter. It has perfected meter so well, it almost doesn’t need to do anything else. Except it also actually rhymes and has assonance with all those -eo sounds repeating, and occasional consonance too. The verses play with that meter to add more complexity to the rhythm. It’s a harder song to write than it seems.

        Our favorite Do Han Se “Take Over” is recent textbook example of rhythm with multiple meters thrown in. Meter here meaning not ¾ or 4/4 time or such, but in the poetry sense of iamb and dactyls with 2 and 3 stressed-beats. He flips from one to the other like water, and then starts skipping and stressing alt beats. (In US pop, REM “It’s the End of the World” sounds like it is all 16th notes rhythm; it isn’t. There is actually a regular rhythm buried under that torrent of words.)

        Twice “Knock Knock”! Rhymes! Internal rhymes and AABA ending rhymes on the verses. Starts with -o sounds on 1st verse, 2nd switches to -e sounds, 3rd switches to -a sounds. Then there are all the consonants that provide this pow to the rhythm Kung! Kung! which emphasizes the consonants on the knock knock on the next lines, gives something for the girls to dig into, =and= creates an obvious matching choreography to finish the package. As far as theming, the lyrics are spot on, open my door, open my heart, there is a key, with a parallel time theme today tomorrow 12 o’clock, someday. And it works both Korean and in English, the English words aren’t just dropped in there perfectly.

        Twice’s “Ooh Aah” lyrics are also spot on in the same way.

        For simile, metaphor, theming. Everyone has covered “Around 30”. The first line sets that theme and tone. “Another day has passed by like smoke”. Gorgeous. Not just smoke but cigarette smoke so it has a sense of acridness to it too. Kim Kwang Seok has started the song so well, he only has to do light touches on the rest to complete the sentiment about how life and love are like smoke, how they fade and dissipate. But the best part is how well the sound of the Korean lyrics match the music like hand in glove. The music itself sounds like Schumann’s Traumerei ’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHlfNYY1YIY, and the lyric just lays into it and curls around it. KKS also crafted the lyric so all the held notes are long vowels, the so-called Italian Opera vowels, all -ah -oh -eh right where a singer will want to hold the note and add some vibrato. Really, everyone has covered this, but my favorite is possibly Lee Eun Mi. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSMGwKZcI3s Listen how she holds those long vowels. Those aren’t an accident, KKS planned those right where they fall in the music.

        For voice, theme, story with extra sentimentality poured on, there is this gem from Forestella “Words from the Wind”. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fdmt421Als It starts “The words whispered to me one day by the passing wind”, so, what does the wind tell me to do? Lift your head, keep moving on, live your life to its fullest, etc. And then as you keep moving through the song and the mountains, the birds add to the chorus; literally and figuratively. Oh, ah! But I fall and stumble in the bridge – I mean, of course, that is the function of a musical bridge to be a point of contrast, and for extra gravitas they always give Ko Woo Rim the deep lines like the earth opening up in spots just like here. The song concludes with the loudest line like a closing entreaty “As long as you are alive, love with all your might”. This song just oozes cheese, but it is so gorgeous and well crafted, everything is in its place in the story line. The music and the multi-voice arrangement adds and builds just as it should as the story progresses.

        Now for today’s lyrics. To me, the lyrics sound like a brainstorm of lines about the tenuous nature of love, you, me, us, here, now. And then they are arranged all those post-it notes in order to match a pre-crafted progression. They put this line there because it has the right number of syllables, and make up that line because they need a line with that many syllables. I mean, the lines in the chorus are so short they may as well be “you, me, us, here, now, slo, mo”.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Oooh, I really like this – four stars on second listen. I was a little worried when I saw how short it was, but it works for this kind of hazy, melodically simple song. Agreed that “Who Are You” is the stronger song, but they flow nicely together on the EP. If you like the title you’ll like “Subliminal” and “Le me love you”. I was expecting more of the same from “Ride or die” but it actually goes more hip-hop and gives a nice burst of energy to round off the EP. I don’t care overly much for the intro track but this might be my favorite EP release of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anyone else think that the beginning of each chorus sounds like the beginning of the word was slightly chopped off? It sounded almost like an audio glitch or when a youtuber accidentally cuts off the beginning of their word at the beginning of a clip. Is that on purpose?? I found it really odd. Otherwise, I liked the song quite a bit

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What’s your opinion on short songs? We’ve always had them over the past few decades but recently I seem to see a lot of them on the charts.

    For me, I think if the song is good I want it to last much longer than 2 minutes and an odd number of seconds to experience more goodness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really all about how much can be stuffed into that time frame. In general, I’d take a short song over a long, bloated one, but I do appreciate a good bridge. Unfortunately, those are often the first thing omitted from a short edit. I think 3-3:30 is the ideal timeframe for a pop track. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions in both directions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I massively agree! Like for example: I’ve always thought Fanfare was longer than Ra Pam Pam but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Ra Pam Pam is 30 seconds longer. I find it surprising, but Fanfare does a lot with the time it’s given. Powerful vocal moments, Beautiful disco strings and exquisite backing vocals. The Best part being that none of these moments feel cashed-in, it’s whole is greater than the parts! Ra Pam Pam, though more plain, feels a bit disoriented.

        I am still not over the fact Fanfare didn’t get selected for title track, it could’ve been real good!

        Liked by 1 person

    • If there is a strong enough hook, a short song is perfectly fine. It says what it needs to say, and then finishes. Most early rock’n’roll songs are less than 3:00 minutes, some are just past 2:00 minutes.

      Some fine examples
      Elvis ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzQ8GDBA8Is
      Rock around the clock ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgdufzXvjqw
      Beatles ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jenWdylTtzs
      Beach Boys ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsDKMkPCOeA
      Neil Diamond ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzUg6X-1R8E

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You know I thought Ribbon was cute but slight, but I really liked and appreciated it more hearing it all the time on my relaxation playlist. Think this is going to go the same route.

    Like

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