Song Review: Billlie – GingaMingaYo (The Strange World)

Billlie - GingaMingaYo (The Strange World)With titles like O.O and GingaMingaYo (The Strange World), K-pop is in an… interesting place at the moment. I know K-pop fans tend to be young, but these nonsense words feel like we’re going all the way back to kindergarten! O.O was an unwelcome aural assault, but Billlie have already proven themselves an interesting rookie group. I wasn’t as thrilled with their debut mini album as others were, but title track Ring x Ring ended up growing on me a lot. Sadly, I don’t see GingaMingaYo doing the same.

The spoiler is right there in the title. There’s no way you can say “GingaMingaYo” without sounding like you’re reciting a nursery rhyme. Billlie are undoubtedly cool, but this material lets them down. Their talent is more exciting than GingaMingaYo’s lame chorus, and they certainly don’t need to throw canned girl group chants all over the mix.

This song is best when Billlie are allowed to stand apart from the pack. The latter half of its verses embrace a catchy melody and there’s a wonderful rap break sandwiched into the middle of verse two. But, I’m so tired of the predictable sing-talk that fuels the bulk of these verses. In a post-ITZY world, it grows more stale with each passing year. GingaMingaYo harnesses an addictive beat, but the songwriting feels like an embellished playground chant. I know some readers hate when I use this comparison (especially for girl groups), but that’s how my ear experiences hooks like this. They come across as annoyingly sing-song and that’s why they’re one of my biggest K-pop pet peeves. Billlie seemed to have found a perfect match in songwriter Lee Minsoo. It’s a shame they farmed out their material to embrace more generic sounds this time around.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

29 thoughts on “Song Review: Billlie – GingaMingaYo (The Strange World)

  1. It’s a cute song! It also is another recent release that sounds better at 1.25x, or maybe 1.15 or 1.2 if youtube had that setting.

    “Ginga Minga Yo” didn’t bother me much, I think it was actually charming. I think it actually means something (anyone help us out here?) so it isn’t just nonsense words but clever wordplay. For some reason, it reminds me of certain lines in GD’s Heartbreaker.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Yeahhh I overall agree. This leans more towards that “fl!pping a coin” path and while that one was a really solid song, this one doesn’t have the same effect. At least not immediately. The B-sides however are really good imo. They slightly remind me of early LOONA which is rather high praise from me.


    • Sidenote but NMIXX got it BAD yesterday. I’ve only been into kpop since like late 2020 but idk if I’ve seen a song & recieve such an overwhelmingly negative response (maybe Next Level) like O.O did yesterday lmao. I wonder if it’ll lead to any actual change. Unlike Next Level, it doesn’t seem like this song will become a hit anytime soon so maybe JYP will be forced to go back to the drawing board.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lay’s Sheep?

        The poor reception is more the hyperactivity of the social media world ready to pile onto anything, especially a big debut from one of the Big 4. And since it is a debut, there is no established fandom to yell back.

        I don’t think it is that horrible. To mix many metaphors, I think it was too ambitious and overthought and overwrought, it swung for the fences and then airballed. It attempted a triple flippy whippy and didn’t not stick the landing. It is also way too noisy for this old git to bother with again.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Oh how I wish I was around to experience the initial reaction to Sheep. One of the most ridiculous kpop songs I’ve heard. I do agree with you that O.O “swung for the fences and then airballed”. A fitting description indeed.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s solid and catchy, and the performance is fun. I just wish they would have pushed that dark, burbling synth way further, made it more like real grown up dance music. Too many stops and starts,. You can keep it Kpop and varied and still be a proper dance track. If they gave it to a really imaginative remixer, it is could be amazing. But I say that about 30% of the Kpop songs I hear now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think this week is the most out of sync with Nick I’ve ever been. I liked both this and O.O (apparently I’m the only person on the internet who thought this), and didn’t care for StayC. I think both songs are fun and kinda weird and give me something new outside of general trends. I guess NMIXX is technically girl crush but is was just too wacky to be taken seriously as a hardcore song or whatever.

    Anyways this one is still the better of the two. The second verse rap was the first kpop rap in a long while that made me sit up and go “wow that really improved this song”. I like the instrumental and energy and find the chorus engaging and the song an interesting direction for them. As usual I wish there wasn’t a tempo shift in the second verse but I can’t be too pissed or I’d never listen to any kpop title tracks.

    All 3 of these songs are pretty disjointed and I’m interested to see if someone will ever be able to make a coherent kpop song again.


  5. I agree, at first I really liked the single mindedness of the Production but the chorus was a big let down. The song also just isn’t as unique as ring ring was. I’m imagining that if this song goes well, they will keep releasing music like this. However, stayc’s most recent song took a step closer to their debut sound, so I have hope Billie will give us the goods at some point.

    What’s really unfortunate about this is that with the way (most) kpop fans are ( blindly supporting songs because they love/are obsessed with the group rather than the song itself) there’s not much of a way to say “hey less of this and more of what you were doing before”.

    But again I do like this group and just want them to have good material


  6. Billlie are making the “bratty chant” work for them better than some others right now because of the weird production choices. I think it still could have used a bit more hookiness/riffiness, either in the singing or the bass line.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is at least 2 points better than NMIXX song… i dont see the point of using a 1 to 10 scale if no one gets a 1 to 5 score.

    Nmixx is a 4 in my scale, even lower, because one listen was enough, so this can be a 6 or 6.5 without problem

    But if a coke zero commercial and an actual song only have 0.5 difference, then the number loses its value


  8. Does anyone else enjoy the embellished playground chant thing? Perhaps these song reviews written are really are a matter of preference.


  9. for some reason i can’t help but think ggmgyo sounds like if aespa’s yeppi yeppi and psy’s gangnam style or daddy had a baby


  10. People have been comparing the ‘GingaMingayo’ melody/chant to ‘Old MacDonald Had A Farm’, and honestly both melodies do sound similar. I think this is also why it sounds like a nursery rhyme to you. Honestly I do think they sampled that melody from ‘Old MacDonalds’ because in RingxRing they sampled ‘Carol of the Bells’ as well.

    Anyways, this type of sampling from an already well-known piece is what makes their music mediocre to me. GingaMIngaYo growed on me more than RingxRing did though! (probably because i’ve listened to ‘Carol of the Bells’ enough in my life)


  11. This definitely reminded me of ITZY (even the styling). Not a bad thing, because they do it well, but I hope they can come out with another ambitious song like their debut.


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