Review

Song Review: Boys Planet – Here I Am

Boys Planet - Here I AmMuch of today’s discussion around Boys Planet dissects this “signal song” to see which idols got roped into the Produce 101-esque survival series. Pentagon’s Hui is the name going around the internet. He seems much too established to participate in a show like this, but although platforms like Boys Planet are cruel and exploitative, they can pay dividends. Just ask Nu’est!

I wanted to write about this song because it hit me in a different way than I’d expected. These survival series never disappeared, but they’re less ubiquitous than they were during the peak of the Produce era. Since then, the sounds in K-pop have shifted. Subdued energy and shouty hooks have become particularly common in boy group material. Hearing the unrestrained bigness of Here I Am is an unexpected treat. Yes, the song is basically the nth version of Pick Me, but after several years away I kind of miss this silly bombast.

Given the many voices performing these signal songs, it’s hard for Here I Am to sound like anything but a shiny product. But, I’m nodding my head in spite of myself. When it comes to big dance beats, I’m an easy mark. I really enjoy the straightforward intensity of the production, especially when we blast into the song’s second verse. There’s no half-time breakdown to be found here. Instead, the beat digs in its heals and grows stronger. The same could be said about the completely over-the-top dance break during the bridge. Words like “restraint” and “subtlety” don’t exist in this universe. Strangely, this makes Here I Am the most fun I’ve had with a K-pop song all month. I can’t believe I’m writing that!

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.5

Grade: B

7 thoughts on “Song Review: Boys Planet – Here I Am

  1. I’m mostly shocked with how Up10tion’s Hwanhee and Xiao are here! Hwanhee is an amazing vocalist and Xiao is a really great performer- and while one part of me is excited to see what they do the other still can’t believe they too have come to a point that they are participating in a temporary group creation programme like this.

    Also, poor Kepler… this year has not really been that good for them – in fact I feel their debut was what made the most impact really – once Mnet switches over to focussing on this new programme, Kepler is gonna get sidelined even further probably…

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  2. Gosh, do you think they’re shining? I wish they would make the lyrics a bit more clear, I can’t tell…

    I’m an unabashed fan of this subgenre — the day they (finally) threw the Idol Producer theme on Spotify is the day my life changed. There isn’t much I wouldn’t rather do than watch a survival show, but at least I can enjoy the songs that come from it! This one in particular has great energy to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like it but I don’t love it yet. Small things like the constant use of that synth that speeds up faster and faster and the sliding synth whose top note is a bit too squeaky and screech prevent me from completely nodding my head. But I can see this growing on me especially due to the uncanny resemblance of the song to pick me S 2 especially in the chorus. They pitched it down a bit, rearranged the notes and made the melodic phrase shorter and added more repetitions with the hook. Yet as I played the that song after this song more than once I can still see it.

    Even so I really like it and I’m glad you like it too Nick!

    Like

  4. As someone who was a hardcore Toogether (Too/To1 fan), I’m rooting for Woonggi and Jerome personally, they deserve the second chance (then again, many other boys here do)

    Like you, song’s up my alley. I never really watched the produce series, despite liking the theme songs, but this is gonna make me watch it, that and the familiar faces too!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “I used to rule the world, seas would rise when I gave the word” … is how the opening synth sounds for the first 8 bars there.

    Other than that, what I hear is Nostalgia, hitting real hard.

    Like

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