Song Review: INI – Call 119

INI - Call 119I’m not sure where calling 119 would get me in the States, but I’m about ready to call 911 on INI’s discography (metaphorically, of course!). I have a strong affinity for this group, having watched them form through Produce 101 Japan and following some of their post-debut variety. But, the guys have yet to be gifted a decent song. Debut tracks Rocketeer and Brighter were average-to-awful, and despite a promising verse new single Call 119 follows in those disappointing footsteps.

Unlike much of Lapone Entertainment’s output, I don’t think Call 119 was outsourced to Korean talent. Yet, it embraces some of K-pop’s worst tropes, simultaneously throwing too much and too little at the listener. Verse one prepares us for a fun funk-pop banger. Yes, the instrumental is a rehash of a rehash and the exclamatory “yeeeeaaaah!” is pure NCT, but I like the punchy bass and occasional touches of new jack swing. However, this good will is immediately undone by the track’s chorus.

What even is this chorus? It’s like the song gets sucked into a blender. The instrumental is overstuffed by tinny percussion and obnoxious synth loops. To use a Bias List cliché, it’s a jackhammer to the head. And rather than place any sort of hook over the top, we’re treated to the guys shouting for a few bars. There’s not really a structure to this energy, but damn is it repetitive. By the time we’re two thirds through the track, I want to shove a phone in their hands and force them to call 119 already. Just report your emergency and put us out of our misery!

Hooks 5
 Production 6
 Longevity 6
 Bias 5


16 thoughts on “Song Review: INI – Call 119

  1. I usually listen to your low-rated songs because even thought our taste overlaps a lot, 50% of the time I disagree with you on what constitutes a bad song. Not today, though. It’s a mess. I had to run to NCT Dream’s 119 to purge my mind.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is the kind of song that comes on in my recommended playlist and I hit skip after hearing the first few seconds (sirens 😦 ). And if I manage to hold out until the chorus, hoping for something to redeem it, I’m still hitting skip.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Just cannot get into INI… then again it took JO1 three cracks to get it right so I guess they have another shot?

    Will we get reviews of Nogizaka46’s Actually or Sakurazaka46’s Samidare yo? They revisited the sounds from some of their best singles! (Inochii wa Utsukushii and Futari Saison)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m quite partial to the Sakurazaka46 track… particularly the gorgeous mv. I don’t know that either song will get a full write-up, but I may try to sneak them into a round-up post.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I stumbled upon their YouTube channel and surprised by the number of views their non-MV videos are constantly getting. From what I know the Japanese market isn’t really big on streaming, so I thought, “This group must have a big fanbase in Japan huh?” Then you mentioned Produce 101 Japan and it all makes sense.

    You overrated this song a bit IMO. I’d probably give it a 4.
    Like Scallyyy, I also cleanse my ears with NCT Dream’s official hoe anthem, 119.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I… feel like literally every group connected to the Produce Japan franchise is putting out better music than the flagship groups JO1 and INI lol. The big heads at Lapone seem to have horrible taste in songs. But the sales are good so I guess there’s that.

    I stay enjoying output from ENJIN, OWV and ORBIT far more despite all groups being far less commercially successful. ENJIN in particular have put out some good old fashioned jpop realness which is far preferable to Lapone’s attempts at creating a “jpop cosplaying as kpop” trend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The song started off bad and the prechorus came and it brought a sense of melody and then as we near the chorus, BAM gone. And then the chorus comes, and WOW, worst chorus of the year so far. Would’ve made a pretty ok bside but as the title, NO.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do like an obnoxious synth loop. This song is funky and lots of fun. It was already on my playlist before I read the truly baffling (to me) hostility here. I will just have to be the lone cheerleader.


    • Nothing wrong with liking what you like (as long as it’s legal!).

      I think it’s safe to say that we often have different taste in music. I’m grateful you still read/interact with the blog despite that 🙂


      • Oh I love your blog. You have a very intelligent perspective and you and plenty of the commenters have more musical knowledge than me. I just like or don’t like and can’t explain why.


  8. I’m not entirely sure about your taste in music, but maybe try listening to Bombarda? It’s one of INI’s noisier b-sides but this is the best noisy song they have thus far. It should have been their lead single instead of Call 119 imo.

    side note: If you’re a fan of Kyosuke’s vocals, you’re probably gonna love this one.


    • I’m a BIG fan of Kyosuke’s vocals, so of course I love that element. But, the song is not for me. I just don’t like this style of music.

      The only other track I like on their single is Amaze Me. Luckily, I *really* like that one and We Are.


      • I see that it’s a matter of preference then. 🙂 If you don’t mind me asking, will you review songs from Produce 101 Japan offshoot groups?


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