Review

Song Review: WEi – Too Bad

WEi - Too BadLast time we heard from boy group WEi (Universe releases aside…), they gave us the upbeat, summery sounds of Bye Bye Bye. It was a sudden shift in style, embracing upbeat power pop rather than the angstier material they had debuted with. New track Too Bad follows this pattern, cementing the group’s transformation. And unsurprisingly, it faces the same successes and challenges as its predecessor.

First off, you all know I’m a champion of this bright sound for boy groups. Whether staged or not, it gives their performances a chance to show more personality and joy. Too Bad will no doubt result in fun stages, but it also feels like a missed opportunity. The energy is great, with an instrumental that bounds along punchy guitar and handclap percussion. It’s a tried and true formula, but one we don’t hear too much of in K-pop nowadays.

However, a song like Too Bad lives or dies on the strength of its melodies. This track is harmless enough, but lacks the rousing centerpiece that would make it a standout. Oddly, the chorus feels too busy and too empty at the same time. It’s stuffed with lyrics, but most of them are throwaway “na na na’s” that never form a knockout refrain. The same could be said about the verses, which bop along with fluffy verve yet fail to go in for the kill and lodge themselves forever in your memory. This results in a pleasant title track that evokes much stronger efforts within the industry. If you’re craving a rush of bubblegum boy group pop, do yourself a favor and check out the debut eras of Astro, Golden Child and B1A4.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8

14 thoughts on “Song Review: WEi – Too Bad

  1. Yeah, I couldn’t quite put in words how I felt about the song, but you did — the chorus felt too busy and too empty at the same time. Bye bye bye was a 9/10 for me (I still listen to it!) this one’s a 7.75.

    I’d still take this anyday over their previous songs like All or Nothing.

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  2. I agree, I think Bye Bye Bye had a stronger hook than this so it was more memorable – I think a post-chorus here would have helped make this stand out more perhaps. That said, I still prefer this kind of sound for the group and I’m glad they pursued something like this though perhaps there’s still a few more tweaks that I would have liked for this to become better.

    Out of curiosity, since there’s a lot of discussion about boy groups who start off with brighter concepts and then take a ‘darker’ turn, have there been many groups that did the opposite and become known for their brighter concepts at a later point of time? I can’t really think of any at the moment really, but now I’m curious.

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    • Definitely not common at all! I suppose you could say BTOB went from edgier material to a softer sound, but that’s not really the same thing and I don’t necessarily consider their style to be “bright” in this way.

      100%’s music because brighter as it went on, but again not in the same way we’re talking about (and they were never all that “dark” to begin with…)

      Given the current state of things, I guess we could almost say BTS falls in this category. Their situation is unique, but the trajectory from No More Dream to Permission To Dance is really… something.

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      • Ah this is interesting, thank you! I’ve never heard of 100% before, I just looked them up. I listened to their songs “Beat” and “Still Loving You” and quite liked them, I’ll probably dive into their discography so thanks for the recommendation!

        I hadn’t thought of BTOB moving from sounds like “Wow” to more of the ballad style, but I do see what you mean and yeah, I don’t think it’s bright in the sense we’re referencing either. Perhaps it’s still too early to tell for BTS as well (or maybe that’s just wishful thinking – I really want that new Korean album that’s apparently rumored to be coming out this year ASAP!)

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    • I feel like Block B’s music definitely got a lot brighter after mostly heavier or darker tracks like Nilili Mambo and Very Good. HER and Yesterday are straight up bright concepts while Jackpot is more of a fun/quirky concept. They pretty much left the bad boy concepts to Bastarz after awhile.

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  3. I think the song is fine! Perhaps even great! But to be perfectly honest, it is the production and delivery. The song is performed at a level of 9, when it should have been punched up to an 11. It plays it too safe.

    As a big fan of B1A4 “Beautiful Target”, listen here to that song again and see how much the B1A4’s lean in to the quirks of the song and sell the shit out of it.
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlruBjfjLtc

    For for further nostalgia, here is Big Bang and 2NE1 selling the shit out of an equally bright theme song “Lollipop” without losing their style.

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  4. Perfect example of okay-pop. Also I’ve read Nick’s tweet about how it’s so long that he has rated a song higher than a 9 and I’ve also noticed that it’s also been a long time where he has rated a new release a 10 in hooks or production 😳

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  5. I really liked this song! I find that Wei actually are one of the groups who are turning out to do well with different themes! This was a perfect case of where the MV was really funny and easy and at the same time you don’t distract yourselves from the song for even a minute! Bye Bye Bye was an amazing song – and while this is a bit different I really enjoyed it!❤️

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  6. I’ve been reading your blog since I found it through your I-land review because it helps me keep up with the releases, learn about K-pop and because I like how you write but I never agree with you… except for this song. It is too stuffed with lyrics.

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