Song Review: KARD – Ring The Alarm

KARD - Ring The AlarmWhen talking about K-pop’s summer music, KARD’s name doesn’t come up nearly enough. Their early tropical sound still feels welcome today. Much of that is due to the songs themselves being strong, regardless of genre or trends. After 2018’s Ride On The Wind, the group moved on to heavier styles and the music became less memorable. Ring The Alarm is their first full group work since 2020, returning them to the sound they made their name on.

There’s an instant comfort in the familiarity of Wind‘s rhythmic structure. KARD’s diverse set of vocal tones work especially well in this setting and the song is a total head-nodder. I would have preferred a more resounding thump in the beat, but Ring The Alarm does a nice job delivering an arrangement just diverse enough to make its simple groove continually interesting. The track really heats up during the last few seconds – a common approach for K-pop composers. I wonder why they always choose to save the best bits for the very end? Climaxes are important, but let’s sprinkle the goodies throughout the entire track.

While Ring The Alarm is pleasant, it never brings the melodic weight that characterized KARD’s early material. In this way, the song plays more like a tribute than a new era. The chorus has a sly hook that takes some time to fully appeal itself, but the rest of the song could do with more compelling melodies. The quadruple punch of Oh NaNa, Don’t Recall, Rumor and Hola Hola remains their strongest run.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75


12 thoughts on “Song Review: KARD – Ring The Alarm

  1. I want to be clear here. When I heard the news about them coming back after more than two years, I expected their new material to be really, really strong, hoping that they will try something new.
    Yeah, my expectations were too high, but this song is still pretty good, though I wish it would’ve opted for a stronger series of hooks, especially during the chorus. Anyway, Kard’s tropical sound is never unwelcome (at least, for me).
    Agree with the rating.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s funny how back when KARD first debuted everyone complained they were doing the same thing over and over but now when everyone else is doing the same thing over and over, KARD now seems different and refreshing. Trends really do move quick.

    Anyway it’s a fine song. Wouldn’t skip it if it came on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KARD is back. Back to their old original sounds that made us look up and listen what seems like ages ago, which today sounds refreshing once again. The song is not groundbreaking, but it is solid and sounds like them.
    Would not skip here either.

    Liked by 3 people

    • “It sounds like them” is exactly what I thought, and given how interchangeable so many of the groups have become, I found that very pleasant.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tbh I really like the pre chorus and I think this tropical vibe really fits KARD well. Its what they do best! However, the chorus itself is a bit of a let down. I feel like its too subdued and could use a bit more energy. If it took some of that zest that Oh Nana or Hola Hola had then it would be perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel like its not enough for their ‘big comeback’ like… they’ve been gone for 2 years I expected to be blown away but the energy of this song & album is very average to me.


    • hmm. disagree with the rating. as a longtime KARD fan who hasn’t been wowed by quite a few of their releases after their style/genre shift…this actually got me. Red Moon tried to go back to their old music style but didn’t quite hit it. but this….i’d put this up there with Oh Nana. (Don’t Recall is more popular but not the kinda sound i can listen to repeatedly unlike Oh Nana, but this, this definitely can n it surprised me they manage to release something so close to their beginning without sounding the same. i might even like it more than Oh Nana.) i wonder if the cold reactions in the comments here are really due to people not feeling this song or because they’re echoing the blog’s sentiment/rating…which is a very common thing these days. hmm. oh well, i’m more surprised some songs that sound so monotonous n underwhelming actually received better rating than this and a few other songs that i expected to do better given how i view this site’s taste from the many reviews i’ve read. maybe i hold this site up to quite a standard myself, and now it seems like a rude awakening. nevertheless, many fans i’ve seen seem to love this as much as i do and i guess i’m not alone. it’d be tragic if everyone find this song meh while gushing over some monotonous song which i should not mention for my safety lol.


      • yikes. this wasn’t meant as a reply to any user, but somehow it came out that way. just to clarify my comment above is meant as a standalone comment responding to this review.


  6. This song is a throwback to Don’t Recall for me, honestly one of the few songs I liked from KARD, so was really happy how Ring the Alarm turned out


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