Song Review: NiziU – Clap Clap

NiziU - Clap ClapBack in April, I found myself very impressed by NiziU’s digital single ASOBO. But after reviewing it, I went on to… never play the song again. Weird, huh? I guess I was able to recognize the strengths of the song even if they didn’t match my own musical preferences. But though I never returned to ASOBO, the track pointed toward a promising future for NiziU’s music. It felt like we were finally moving away from the hyper, shouty style that marred many of their early releases.

I may have been wrong, because new single Clap Clap feels like an unwelcome reversion. There are successful elements here (the descending synth in the chorus is pretty funky), but they’re undone by an obnoxious performance that places exclamations and asides over compelling singing and/or rapping. Having watched this group form on the Nizi Project, I’m confident they have so much more to offer than this. But, Clap Clap forces their vocals into a brash, reductive arrangement. Performers like Nina were fantastic on the show. Here, the producers give her climactic high note a combative, sing-shout approach that doesn’t work. What a missed opportunity for harmony, layering or tonal variation.

Elsewhere, Clap Clap is busy for busy’s sake. Not a moment of the chorus passes by without some cheeky aside. It’s very Kidz Bop in execution, making it hard to enjoy the song without exhaustion. It’s become very clear that I’m not the audience for NiziU’s music, but a song like Clap Clap should still work as a fizzy pop tonic. Sadly, this misses the mark.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.75

9 thoughts on “Song Review: NiziU – Clap Clap

  1. Whatever this is, it sounds far better than the Itzy Sneakers teasers.

    Its very frenetic, and not in a good way. 0.9x on the custom speed button is better, but it reveals how much midrange rat-a-tat percussion there is going on. Sonny boy does this thing on my old drum machine which he finds very funny because he is a kid: he lights up all the 16th notes and cranks up the tempo, then deselects two or three random notes, just to make me tense up. The percussion here is like that. Constant rat-a-tat skipping one random beat just to get a rise out of the old people like me.


    • (But the Itzy mv teasers look so stupidly fun…)
      Well, I am just going to rewatch Nina’s cover of I’ll be back up until she’s given the chance to do something as impressive again.


  2. No NiziU song has really caught my attention other than Chopstick which is like the greatest thing ever but I’ll take more Mako content any day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I really tried to get in Niziu after Chopstick…but something just doesn’t click. The girls seem super talented and funny, so I’m always down to check out whatever they release … but it’s usually just a bit too much of the wrong things and not enough of the good things.


  3. Even in all its business I find that charming and cute. It feels young and silly and IIRC this group is on the younger side so I appreciate about them too. It’s definitely a kidz bop but the kids should have bops too and for that reason I approve


  4. I’ve never been a fan of NiziU because of their childish concept, and this song proves for a hundredth time that I’ll never stan them. Though I’m just 15, I can already confirm being too old for this. Maybe 6.5 for me.


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