Review

Song Review: Kep1er – We Fresh

Kep1er - We FreshNot every K-pop group will be for every listener, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Throughout 2022, I’ve listened to all of Kep1er’s music, watched them compete on Queendom and seen them live at KCON. And still, I approach new single We Fresh with tons of trepidation. From the teasers alone, I knew there’d be a lot of shouting and a generous dose of ear-shattering instrumental drops.

All of this turned out to be true, but the most frustrating thing about We Fresh is how good it could be if some of its more jarring elements were toned down or excised completely. Remove the by-the-numbers girl group chanting and replace that high-pitched instrumental breakdown with something less abrasive and you’ve got a rock-dance banger with plenty of verve. When the production focuses on guitar distortion and big, chugging percussion it’s a ferocious compliment to Kep1er’s indefatigable energy. I like how these elements come at us in waves, with the track pulling back before surging forward with renewed intensity. And when Kep1er are allowed to actually sing rather than “rat ta ta ta” they sound great.

K-pop has developed a reputation for throwing many competing ingredients into a blender, but a song like We Fresh doesn’t seem to be following any recipe. It simply tosses sounds around without purpose. Rather than thrilling, the result feels exhausting. Kep1er nearly get lost within the maelstrom and any hope of a melodic centerpiece dissipates as soon as hook smacks you upside the head. It’s a shame, because there are moments of great potential here.

Hooks 6
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 6.75

Grade: D+

37 thoughts on “Song Review: Kep1er – We Fresh

  1. I like it. The energy it had was charming. Perhaps it has something to do with me feeling pretty sleepy, but on the first listen, I like it better than both UP and Wa Da Da (when I first listened to them). I’m not sure how it will age, but as you said there some really great stuff about it that I may actually keep coming back to. Not the best but not the worst.

    (7, 8, 8, 8) – 7.75

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  2. This one ticks every box on the girl crush bingo card including the crushing it rock guitar chords sample. Loona “So What” came to mind for this particular variant of girl crush.
    For what it is, it is well done. Also, not for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We fresh (and Wa da da) could be great songs but Wakeone is allergic to good choruses and real singing :sob:.

    Kep1er having 3 comebacks this year feels like W1 desperately trying to give the group a chance of winning ROTY against Ive and Lsrf, but what’s the point if the music isn’t good.

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    • My only complaint of the song as well, prechorus was good and I was pretty optimistic, first phrase of chorus too, then it just went downhill for me, there no barely any singing involved in this song.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. What the hell IS even this song? It felt genuinely unlistenable for me, seemed like several fragments from other different tracks have been slammed together. Worse yet, the girls are not given the chance to sing again, only hyper-obnoxious ra ta ta ta’s, AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN THESE FUCKING RA TA TA TA’S COULD BE HEARD🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬
    Overall, since this day I’m unstanning Kep1er. I realized that I haven’t actually connected with any of their songs, except for the b-side Mvsk. Everything released by them is just surrounded by some sense of outright cheapness, cartoonishness and immaturity, and these are also the reasons why Up quickly got cloying and irritating. All in all, Nick’s rating is WAY, WAY TOO generous, 5.5 for me at best (5,6,6,5).

    Liked by 4 people

      • Frankly, this one might even become the worst k-pop song ever made to my taste, surpassing Cravity’s My Turn, rated in my mid-3’s.

        Now I’ve got a question: Wake One, what kind of pills are you on?

        If only those jarring production choices were removed, and we’d get a cool dance-rock bop. For example, the big vocal centerpiece would help the girls sell the hell out of the track, and that awful instrumental breakdown could be replaced with a killer electric guitar solo…🤤
        Alas, this feels too parallel world-esque by k-pop industry standards, and that’s such a shame……..

        Liked by 1 person

    • The only time I enjoyed variations of “Latata, Ratata, and gratata” was G-idle’s debut. After that I never want to hear it used again in a song

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  5. I actually liked this! At least better than any of their other title tracks, including Wa Da Da (which I have confused feelings about because it earwormed itself into my brain). I don’t even mind the post-chorus that much because I was afraid that the entire song was going to sound that way. I feel like the positives outweigh the negatives here.

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  6. Cacophony. Frenetic. Chaos. These words are becoming alarming regular in K-Pop reviews. When it comes to audio stimulation, “noise” is not necessarily a bad thing. 20 years ago, I was heavily into industrial music and I still go back every now and then to revisit some of my favorite pieces from that period. Nurse With Wound, Whitehouse, Throbbing Gristle, Merzbow, Zoviet France, SPK, et al filled my playlist during my “me against the world” phase. I needed that music back then.

    Now? Well, I’m not going to say I’ve mellowed, but I prefer my audio journeys to be a little more.. ..organized. So when a song like “We Fresh” comes along, I’m not necessarily bothered by a frenzied pace or a chaotic structure, but Kep1er are not an industrial group; they’re K-Pop. I know what the producers were trying to do but I think they fumbled.

    Nick, you wrote “how good it could be if some of its more jarring elements were toned down or excised completely”, and I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, I think a good example of how this song could’ve been with those types of changes is this song:

    Republica “Ready To Go”
    Ref #1 (R:RTG):

    So, yeah, swing and a miss for me with this release. Well, now I’m feeling a little nostalgic. I think it’s time to revisit and old favorite of mine.

    Ref #2 (MB:MB): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUhYMtM8Bqk

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  7. I read the review and expected to hate this, but honestly, this isn’t that bad–I’ve seen much worse 7+ rated songs on here! It’s a little throwaway and I don’t see it going higher than low 8s, and bits of the production bother me (whatever the hell that squeaky synth is, no thanks) but not much else is particularly obnoxious, I appreciate the unflagging energy, the use of electric guitar, and as you point out the actual singing parts are pretty great. Definitely 8-8.25 for me, maybe even 8.5. (Okay maybe I can’t 8.5 it in good conscience with that damn squeaky synth. But not much lower!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My favorite kep1er song. I didn’t really find it as random it sorta made sense to me. I enjoy it as it is but I am curious how the song would be if it focused on it’s rock parts. That breakdown is doing anything for me either tbh

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  9. I get that Kepler only have like a year and a half left as a group but goodness WakeOne needs to chill tf out with all these releases. I don’t think IZ*ONE released this much music in one year. But it kind of worked in their favor where the music was more cohesive instead of the zig-zagging that Kepler is doing right now.

    As the old story goes, the song was decent up until the chorus. The guitar was more interesting compared to Billlie’s attempt at it so there’s that I guess. IDK how to feel about it. We Fresh has a lot of promising moments as well as some not so great moments. Plus where did WakeOne get all this extra money from? The MV looks extremely high budget (well except for those Yujin motorcycle scenes).

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Yeah there are no redeeming elements in this song for me. Like usually there’s at least a bridge that shines or a rap verse to rock to (I don’t mind trap beats as much as this site does). Heck, even NMIXX songs are listenable so long as I turn my brain off between sections. This is just pure garbage, the girls deserve better, and I never want to hear this song again.

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  11. I do really like Kep1er’s vocals, but yeah, because of whoever’s directing their title track sound/brand, you barely get to hear it. I was meh about the song (meh being generous) until that post-chorus instrumental. What IS that sound 😭 if you’re going to do an electronic beat drop make it sound catchy instead of wince-inducing. That sound on its own knocks off several points.

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  12. When Kep1er tried to convince me that ‘They Fresh’ (oh lord), I was like… ‘you sure we’re not just back to square one? Being the noise that it is, with also the noticeable lack of proper lines for Bahiyyih, I assume ‘We Fresh’ was supposed to be made during their debut preparation, competing with ‘Wa Da Da’ as a title track contender, then gets scrapped. It was until some creative director over at WakeOne, frustrated due to lack of songs noisy enough for the title track, really said, “Remember that title song we dumped at January? Let’s just use that. Why? Because we don’t have time since the boss kept rejecting my picks at the showcase!”

    As I have laid the case above, this song serves you anything and everything wrong, just like Wa Da Da did before. It is expected for big-numbered groups to distribute shorter lines to their members, yet the chops on ‘We Fresh’ just sounded adlibs stacked after one another, like eating a soup filled with scraps rather than the actual pieces of good, good food. Add the heavily distorted adlibs and the grating instrument which stays at a dangerous height, and there you go: a recipe of a highly concentrated, but also toxic, painkiller in a parenteral injection.

    P.S. I DESPISE the heavy bass compression on the post-chorus.

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  13. Tbh I kinda like the song and if it wasn’t for the noisy instrumental in the middle of the chorus, I think this song would be so solid. I like the rock influences and I honestly dont mind the girl chanting. While I do prefer more melodic songs, I really dont think this sone is that bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s as if the producers have colluded to give Kep1er chaotic noisy title tracks and excellent bsides, by now I love “Dreams” and “Downtown” grows on me quickly because it has really captivating parts especially towards the end.

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  15. I really love Kep1er, they have so much potential! But honestly at this point, I’m starting to lose faith in their music. Their title tracks are painful to listen to (except for Up!), the only things that keep me around are their B-sides.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I wonder why some groups still want to be a itzy copy when it has been proven so many times that they are a has been. We need more groups to copy ive instead

    Like

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