Song Review: bugAboo – Pop

bugAboo - PopIt’s been a long wait between bugAboo’s debut and their first comeback. Their self-titled track came out all the way back in October. Eight months later, we finally have Pop. Strangely, the song is not composed by agency-head Ryan Jhun (even though he composes pretty much every other K-pop track these days!). But, it continues to develop the group’s effervescent sound.

Pop is a tough one. There are things about it I love and things about it I hate. It’s hard to reconcile these within one song, which makes the final product a bit disorienting. To put it simply, the moments where the girls are singing are quite good. The chorus has a welcome fullness, pulsing with great energy and a confident vocal. It feels like an actual centerpiece, not a slowed-down beat drop hook or flimsy chant. Similarly, Pop’s pre-chorus bounds forward with tons of momentum. The song’s dance break is also a winner, followed by a strong vocal bridge.

On the other hand, I hate the “pop! pop!” post-chorus breakdown. I’ve become so exhausted by sound effects in K-pop that even a small sprinkling of them really turns me off a song. This irritating hook also opens Pop, getting the track off to a rough start. A second verse tempo shift does the song no favors, making it feel more fractured than it actually is. Had Pop removed these trendy elements and focused fully on its strengths, we might be talking about a 2022 classic. Instead, the track works in fits and starts. It’s definitely stronger than the baseline girl crush comeback, but it’s clear bugAboo are destined for greater things.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

18 thoughts on “Song Review: bugAboo – Pop

  1. After seeing teasers and concept photos, my expectations instantly got lowered. I was suspecting the song to be another noisy shit with TV noise and posturing, but, luckily, it didn’t happen again.
    Personally me, I like almost everything this song has got, except for the post-chorus.
    These “pop!pop!” and “blah blah!” sing-talk outbursts feel just irritating and cheapen the overall effect.

    P.s. for some reason I can see the song being a sister of Everglow’s Pirate, but a lil’ bit brighter😂😂

    My rating would be the same.


  2. This sounds like a Twice – Itzy collaboration that we didn’t expect to pop up. Its fun, poppy, light hearted. Best of all, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Skews young, so not for me, but its aiiight.

    I don’t know how they will sing this live live ever with all that high impact aerobic workout dance going on. It is worth noting that the pre-recorded showcase vocals add some nice character to the song versus the canned studio version. There is personality in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The chorus is great and caught my attention when it first hit but the rest of the song is pretty in one ear out the other.

    I liked their debut a lot. But I guess it didn’t have enough onomatopoeia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There hasn’t been a song since 2NE1’s Gotta Be You where I love the chorus while hating the surrounding material so much as this


  5. When they sing, it’s great!

    Remember singing? I do. I miss singing. Singing is good. Maybe we should send a food truck to singing in an effort to encourage its future activities.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Points for the inventive structure. Starting with the post chorus then going into the pre-chorus felt fresh. Also the song only has only verse! Girl groups are all tying to do dalla dalla (balancing girl crush with bright pop) and this was a cool way at it. Ending the song on the first syllable of the pre-chorus is a nice touch too.


  7. I really like this, maybe I’m the problem because I find shouty post choruses really fun, this would be exceptional in a concert setting.


  8. what annoys me about the song the most, other than the post-chorus, that prevents me from enjoying the song completely, is the mixing. it feels like the members’ vocals are being muffled through vocal effects and are fighting the instrumental, especially in the chorus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I feel like I have to wipe my nonexistent glasses clean or get some water out of my ear to bring that vocal forward, it’s hiding behind that really loud, forward thump.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The pop pop pop and blah blah blah parts are the weakpoints of this otherwise pretty great track , in a landscape of noisy shouty girlcrush songs this is absolutely a much needed highlight , as Nick said without those weak parts this could have been THE hit of 2022 but still i’m felling quite positive about it


  10. Yeah, I think the post chorus chant is very catchy and it’s only annoying due to everyone doing it. For the song itself it works pretty well. As much as I love the chorus, it feels like a different song and that’s what makes the song feels fractured, not the second verse. I differently like this better than their debut and I’m excited by the thought that bugaboo might win me over soon

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I definitely like the vocals, though the pop pop pops were unenjoyable. I have honestly never heard of them before so I went back to read your review on their debut. You gave them pretty similar ratings, but I am so confused about why their other Bugaboo is rated higher. From my first listen, I personally really don’t like it; it feels incredibly unoriginal. However, I do like POP. The chorus really makes the song for me. The rest is okay but the synthy harmonies in the chorus just sound so fresh and satisfying.


  12. R.I.P. bugaboo. I agree they were destined for more, but the company clearly wasn’t happy with sales. It’s a shame cause I was so happy choyeon debuted


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