Song Review: NiziU – ASOBO

NiziU - ASOBONiziU are part of a new brand of J-pop idol groups who look and sound a lot like K-pop. This is by design, as they – along with peers like JO1 and INI – are backed by Korean stakeholders. As a J-idol fan myself, their growing success worries me – particularly when the music feels like unused demos from the K-pop industry. But, these groups can also deliver fantastic material. After all, JO1’s Born To Be Wild was my favorite song of 2021.

I haven’t been enamored with NiziU’s discography thus far. The saccharine style of their songs just isn’t for me. But, new digital single ASOBO is a welcome surprise. It’s no less sugary than past material, but the melodies and performance are quite enjoyable. The energy in the verses is toned down in an effective way, taking time to develop a catchy introduction before the hook rushes in. The girls’ voices are layered for the effusive pre-chorus and they sound fantastic. This moment stands as an anthemic exclamation point for the entire song, clearing the air before we plunge into ASOBO’s beat-drop hook.

Beat drops are rarely satisfying anymore, but I appreciate ASOBO’s willingness to try something a bit different. The catchy marimba percussion from the verses blossoms into a full-on festival, letting brass and percussion do the talking. It’s a bit jarring the first time through, but when this instrumental fuses with the layered “ASOBO” hook, the song is great fun. It’s a little early to be thinking about the summer, but ASOBO feel destined to join the upbeat, ‘driving to the beach’ playlist.

Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


7 thoughts on “Song Review: NiziU – ASOBO

  1. Yeah, cute song! I like the chorus beat drop, because it drops and they (importantly!) continue singing over it.

    If I overthink it, I may nitpick that its the latest song to be vastly improved on 1.1x speed. It also is a 1 + half idea song that wears itself out well before the 3 minute mark.
    And the song itself skews young. But that is all just me, personally.


  2. AHHH what a delightful surprise. I feel like every since Chopsticks, I started paying attention to Niziu. I revisited their discography which I had written off, and while it there imperfections, I am really charmed by the group.

    When that first ASOBO hooks hits, it’s a surprise. I really didn’t take Niziu for a group to deliver vocals like that.
    Then the instrumental hits, and it’s got that horn fun similar to a track like ONF’s “Complete” (I’m going there)

    anyway a delightful release. Interesting to see have quality varies from different JYP gg releases. Of c Niziu is Japanese-based, and probably working w a different JYPn subsidiary team or whatever…but still interesting to note…


  3. The horn in the beat drop reminds of dance the night away by twice. I really appreciate the build to the drop, it’s been a while since a pre chorus actual filled me with anticipation. With the way the instrumental started off, I had the feeling the beat drop wouldn’t be the usual kind we get. I really appreciate that the girls don’t sound so nasally this time around too. Despite all this praise, I’m not sure if this is a song I’ll listen to often

    Liked by 1 person

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