Review

Song Review: Ciipher – Fame

Ciipher - FameAfter a less-than-stellar debut, rookies Ciipher rebounded big time with last year’s excellent Blind. That song’s composition had member participation, which seems indispensable for this group. Judging from the highlight medley of their newest album, the strongest-sounding songs are the ones where the guys themselves are most involved. Self-composition isn’t a skill to be taken lightly, and I hope they’ll be encouraged to flex those muscles more often.

New single Fame also has member participation, but only on lyrics. The rest of the song was outsourced to producers who have worked on many boy group tracks. This is obvious to hear, because Fame sounds like a hodgepodge of a dozen stronger songs. We’ve got the 90’s house that SHINee played around with in 2018, the fashionable dance beats of AB6IX and the maddening tempo changes that mark too many other comebacks. Fame has its moments, but they’re few and far between.

The song’s biggest issue is those aforementioned tempo shifts. Longtime readers know this is a pet peeve of mine. I hate when pop music sputters and stops and never settles on a decent groove. It feels like the instrumental is killing time, and when the beat finally drops in the post-chorus it’s too little too late. Ciipher sound great on the track and it’s clear they have so much potential. But, Fame drags more than it soars. Its ticking, tinny percussion is at odds with the song’s sleeker moments, creating a frustrating, inconsistent product.

Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

15 thoughts on “Song Review: Ciipher – Fame

  1. What a difference a decade makes. Today, we have this, which is an aural salad of boy band fare, like an Applebees of music.

    Almost a decade ago on 15th May 2012, Infinite’s The Chaser was released.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I haven’t payed attention to kpop for a bit so this is my first time hearing of this group. I’ll have to check out the self written one you recommended. The tempo changes don’t really bother me but I don’t think I’ll playlist this.

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  3. Other than the second half of the chorus this is not something that I would add to my playlist due to its weak replay value with all the tempo shifts and hollow verse instrumentals. If the track had carried the energy the second half of the chorus gave all the way this would’ve been a (generic but) solid song. I give this a 6.75 (7,7,6,7)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Missing the Ciipher of I like You (shut up!), Fire, and now Blind, which I’ve really warmed to after getting used to the shock. This might grow on me, but right now it sounds like a Frankensong of all the boy group tropes I happen to love. But it doesn’t lean into them, it’s just there.

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  5. It’s pretty nice actually! I did find the sudden tempo change at the chorus odd at first – kinda like someone slamming the brakes at the last moment or something lol but overall it was pretty good. It’s definitely not as catchy or fun as Blind but it was ok. The raps especially sounded good!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. While watching a stage performance I knew this song sounded a little like something I heard before. I sounds a little similar to Jelly by Hotshot. I like both and this is a definite improvement compared to their debut.

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  7. I was on the fence on this one, then realized that the word “winners” (winners!) in the pre-chorus sounds like a much less appropriate word that I can’t unhear, and that made up my mind. Deleted!

    I like “Slam The Door” though! I it’s got the same happy rock vibe as some of Golcha or Dongkiz’ tracks.

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  8. I like it! I do understand your point about the tempo changes. However, I think the core aspects of the production are solid enough that it doesn’t feel like several songs thrown together like we see from other groups. Hopefully, Ciipher keeps it up.

    Like

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