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.