Song Review: Rocket Punch – Chiquita

Rockey Punch - ChiquitaFor me, February has been a dull, slow month in K-pop. But, Rocket Punch’s Chiquita hung in the distance, promising a retro punch of pop energy to take us into March. My anticipation for the song was unexpected (I’ve never really loved the group’s music), but an ear-catching teaser ignited interest. K-pop acts don’t often spoil their entire chorus two weeks before comeback day. That approach requires a certain level of confidence in the material. With Chiquita, that confidence is warranted.

So many idol tracks have struggled to harness pop music’s current retro trend in a satisfying way. We either get copy-and-paste retreads or a more subdued, ‘one foot in, one foot out’ city pop style. Chiquita treats its bright synths as an asset, proudly placing them front and center. This elevates the track’s weaker moments. Even when overused Kpop-isms threaten to pull the verses back to generic territory, the instrumental maintains a sense of focus. Chiquita isn’t trying to move in a million directions at once. It’s focused on being really good at one thing.

Speaking of good things, the song’s highlight is its big, effusive chorus. Woollim were smart to lead the album campaign with this hook. The synth riff intensifies, the vocals smooth out for a more sophisticated delivery and the melody slides into home base with a confident ease. It feels like a proper centerpiece – a quality harder to find in K-pop over the past few years. Comparisons to second generation groups like Kara will be inevitable. If Rocket Punch go on to craft a singles run half as strong as their forerunners, I’ll be a happy fan. Chiquita is a great step in that direction.

Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9

27 thoughts on “Song Review: Rocket Punch – Chiquita

  1. The song is actually a basic girl group kpop song, fairly workaday. But man oh man when the Flashdance synths kick in during the chorus, that sound sample just makes the song alive. What a feeling!

    For the kids, re: Flashdance, listen for example at 1:10. The dance in here starting at about 2:00 is also very famous – so many later singer dancers have stolen moods and vibe from this dance.

    (OK, to be fair, the Chiquita line sounds closer to Animotion’s “Obsession”, but I like Flashdance better for nostalgia purposes. “Obsession” was later covered a few times and used in a few soundtracks, so the main synth hook should sound very familiar.) (Wow, I haven’t seen this video before, it was not on heavy MTV rotation at all, despite what Wikipedia says.) ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this is my top song of the year so far. i’m just so glad rocket punch has finally found their sound under newtro synths mixed with teen crush. the song seems to take the best parts of bouncy and ring ring and mixes them into a masterpiece like this. the only problem however is that there isn’t much juri-chan though, but that’s just a minor issue because the song is just so good.

    at first i was worried the verses would dumb down into sing talk and a trap breakdown, but as soon as i heard that pre-chorus, i knew the song was gonna get much better, and i was right! the chorus is amazing and has a great melody to sing along to. i’m gonna have to stan rocket punch!

    hooks: 9
    production: 9
    longevity: 9
    bias: 9

    rating: 9

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Finding this, the new NOM single (don’t judge me), and Sharp Objects ended my month very nicely. It really channels the best of 80s synth pop in an, um, authentic way.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I have always been a fan of the retro sound and these girls did it fantastically well!! The music, the chorus, the rap – they didn’t step away from the central theme even for a minute! And that ending was really good too! I’m looking forward to the stages now because they are really good performers and the song will definitely become more fun with those!❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I just wish Yunkyoung was made main vocal at once, because Suyun’s voice and belting can get a bit grating at times. Juri is also under utilized in this song, I’m missing some contrast that her voice could provide.


  6. I was worried this was gonna get docked marks for the chirpy vocal delivery, so I’m glad to see it landed a 9! It’s still tethered to some of Kpop’s more… irritating recent tendencies, but setting those aside, THIS is how it’s done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This really is the best Rocket Punch title track so far. I got shivers down my spine listening to the teaser a week ago. The main highlight for me is the final chorus, just when it was about to become kinda boring they made it captivating again. But yeah, half a week before we already knew 1 whole minute of the song😂😂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I dig it. Also I really hear the Kara comparisons, this one is really giving me “Mamma Mia” vibes. But I like it.

    Go Rocket Punch. They really improved upon “Ring Ring.” This is definitely top-tier Rocket Punch releases, second to Juicy probably 😉
    actually, I have a huge room in my heart for Bim bam bum. I love Rocket Punch, they’ve just been inconsistent and underpromoted.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Huh, I disagree on this one. I was sick of that tiny chorus melody before the first chorus even ended. It’s a shame, too — the rest of the song is excellent. Glad it’s working for most people!

    Also released this morning, the Cherry Bullet highlight medley sounds almost suspiciously good. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but there wasn’t one song in there I didn’t have an immediately positive reaction to!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cherry Bullet’s “Cherry Rush” was easily my fav EP from last year, so my hopes have been ALL the way up for “Cherry Wish.” I was so relieved when I listened to the highlight melody this morning and it all actually sounded good 😀


  10. I like the song but I wish it was given to a group with better vocals. That said I’m glad they’re not super duper high and sounds like they’re straining


  11. I don’t like this sub-genre enough for this to be a month-rescuing release, but it’s grown on me al lot after a few listens. Currently I prefer “Louder”, which is more my kind of obnoxious, but either way it’s one idol group release that didn’t disappoint this month.


  12. The sings builds and builds and then the final chorus comes and it is such an ecstasy. Very well done!
    I wasn´t so excited about a Rocket Punch song since Bim Bam Boom!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh man Rocket Punch. When I’m not into them I’m really not, but when they strike gold, they really, really strike gold. I loved “Bouncy” and I super dig this too.


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