Song Review: XG – Shooting Star

XG - Shooting StarIf I were to chart my listening habits over the past month or so, it would look something like: 80% J-pop, 10% Finnish pop (!), 5% American pop and 5% K-pop. Pretty strange for a K-pop blogger, right? That’s a testament to just how stalled the industry has become since November. It’s no surprise, then, that one of January’s buzziest songs in K-pop circles isn’t even technically K-pop. XG are a Japanese girl group based in South Korea. These two industries have blended for many years, but currently it feels like K-pop trends have more sway among Japanese audiences than J-pop has on Korean listeners.

I won’t bore you with my thoughts on this phenomenon except to say that I’m generally not a fan of “K-pop” sounding J-pop songs (a very nebulous description, I’m aware). I took one listen to XG’s 2022 debut Tippy Toes and never returned to it. It’s not a bad song, but there’s already a surplus of this sound in K-pop. When follow-up Mascara arrived last summer, it felt like a nail in the coffin of my interest in XG. So, new single Shooting Star arrives without much personal anticipation.

Thankfully, we get to hear more from the group’s vocalists on this track. Their tones are very pleasant when they’re not shouting catchphrases, and Shooting Stars’ addictive pre-chorus is bolstered by an appealing blend. But apart from that moment, I feel like I’ve heard these melodies a million times before. They’re underlined by bog-standard trap pop and an atmospheric loop that threatens to grate depending on how sensitive you are to higher-pitched tones. I can see how this general vibe would enrapture those who enjoy the style. It just doesn’t do much for me. On the plus side, I think there’s ample room to grow. Shooting Stars improves with further listens and the group clearly has charisma to spare. They just need a sound and song unique to them.

Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

Grade: C


35 thoughts on “Song Review: XG – Shooting Star

  1. I also agree. I wanted to give them a chance since reactors love them so much. I loved the video but the song is something I have heard time after time. It doesn’t help when I wanted reactions to this everybody seems to in love with it not sure what they see in this song though ……………

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think it would make more sense if you provided examples of why you found this to be boring and a duplicate of so many existing sounds. Trend for 2023 is y2k apparently. Personally I liked it a lot, but I can see myself being bored of this sound if every group decides to get on the bandwagon as the year progresses. However it’s still early and so far only New Jeans and TripleS have done this type of music recently. So unless you mean you grew up in the 90s and is fed up with the sound

      Liked by 3 people

      • You hit the nail on the head. This song sounds as if they started to do a BP clone, then heard NJs and rearranged the rest of the song to fit the current trend. It is not bad, but far from great.


  2. The CEO of their label (XGALX) is Simon from DMTN (Dalmatian) – if any 2nd gen kpop fans remember that group.

    XGALX is a subsidiary of avex a prestigious jpop company that anyone who is into japanese music would know.

    All of the XG girls come from avex artist academy, their talent/trainee system (japanese members of treasure trained here since yg japan has a partnership with avex, be:first members, faky, da-ice, etc..). It is said Hikaru from Kep1er will join XG next year as well.

    however XG is the first for avex in that they’re not “jpop” or “kpop” they’re part of avex’s new phase in pushing japanese talent globally and i guess “using” the kpop/korea hype, with japan and american systems to do so. It’s quite interesting if you’re a music nerd like me.

    You can follow @avex_usa on insta or @xgofficial @simonjakops for more info on them i think they’re quite cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely loved this, I was worried I would fall directly into the sound that New Jeans and TripleS have given us. I’m gad it’s leaning more into the R&B sound which is my favorite genre. I think the vocalist are amazing and are extremely pleasant to listen to. I could have done without the auto tune on the rap but atleast it wasn’t present on the stage performance .

    This song sounds like something Tinase could release while the b-side Left and Right could have been given to Normani (she deserves good music and a decent label to support her).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A highly refined generic song. Vocals are good, good tone and technique. Rating is appropriate.
    Personally liked Left Right more. It had that irresistible k-r&b groove. A well-produced GG b-side.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The song is fine as long as you like the notes B4 – A4 – E4 repeated ad nauseum for 3 minutes over the same chords set on repeat. And then there is the rap over the ultra trap. Gah, trap.
    Rating is about right. Perhaps high now I have listened to the song a few times over. I think we are all just starved for content so this passes as competant.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. When I had a listen yesterday, about a minute or two in I started to like it. I had the same experience this morning. I think think song will sound good on my playlist.

    I’m genuinely curious what Nick’s top 3 of January will be. Sparse pickings for sure. Right now, I think mine looks like this: MONSTA X – Beautiful Liar, Nine (OnlyOneOf) – beyOnd, Henry – Moonlight, Primrose – Primrose (tied for 3rd;). Of course TXT has a tune in the dock, so hoping for good things…


    • NGL I don’t feel like this video really gives a positive impression of this group. From the perspective of someone who listens to hip-hop, this is not impressive in the least bit. None of the bars are original and the entire concept is so out of place and tasteless. If you showed this to a hip-hop fan in the United States (especially if they are black) they would probably get pretty offended. I feel bad for the members because they seem pretty talented, but I can’t see very many people taking this seriously.


      • Well, speaking as a black hip hop fan in the U.S., I actually was not offended by this. It soundes pretty similar to what some of the rap girls are putting out nowadays. I’ve also watches a number of YouTube reactors be impressed and not offended by this. Granted I and the reactors can only speak for ourselves and not black people as a whole.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I agree to an extent since kpop rap is inferior compared to rap originated from the u.s. But since the group is mostly targeted in the kpop and jpop audience, people would see them as a positive impression. Its not everyday you see people who can rap in the kpop/jpop scene especially nowadays. They’ve got positive reactions from reactors as well. And I can tell you not every hip-hop fan will get offended.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I disagree. I’m black and I love this. I saw black factors especially hip hop heads loving the track because of the 2000 R&B nostalgia. And with the Cypher video going viral more black people love how they took samples from legendary hip-hop artists and made it their own. I don’t speak for all of black purple but the response had been positive.


  7. Absolutely horrible concept with surprisingly solid execution. I feel like if they just toned down the borderline offensive cultural appropriation (grills, blaccent, etc.) then this actually would have been pretty good. Sure the song isn’t super unique, but at least the singing parts are pleasant and kinda catchy. I was definitely expecting something much worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I still think Tippy toes was their best song. Mascara was okay, but this song is just not it. I don’t think I’ll be replaying this one, but I’ll definitely be replaying their cypher. These girls are insane (for you hip-hop heads. Yes we know they aren’t as good as American rappers, but compared to other kpop acts they’re crazy). I also think that the fact they only have 3 songs is ridiculous. They debuted in MARCH 2022 AND THEY ONLY HAVE THREE SONGS!!!! Not only do I think they need more songs, they need better songs too cuz these girls are truly talented, and it sucks watching it go to waste. Also Maya and Cocona need to have more rap parts, they are the stars of xg.


  9. Would love to hear them singing in Japanese but as long as Japan is obsessed with “Anime OP Singing Voice”, that’s not going to happen. Avex are playing their cards very well so far, the only thing I would want from them for XG is a mini-album, next release MUST be an EP.


  10. I have to disagree. This song is far more different than any Kpop song I’ve heard as of recent.
    The delivery, the switch up, the visuals all add up to a great mv/ song.
    The message of the song is empowering and uplifting.Also they are doing it in English and make it sound good.
    XG has set a new bar if I’m being honest.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I liked the song! The vocals and singing parts are all amazing. The vocals are surprisingly crisp and clear. The rap was the only downfall of the song to me. Absolutely unnecessary. However, even with that I give the song a solid 8/10.
    Also I don’t think trap is bad as you think it is. If it’s a minimal trap beat then what’s the problem?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t know what is it about this song.

    My favorite genre is New Age (and generally 70s and 80s), I am not a fan of newer kpop trends and the likes, but this song…

    I vibe to it every single day for a month already. Like, I just enjoy it so much?! The first time I listened to it I thought it was no big deal, but the chorus was always in my head!

    I must also say the members have a very important part in the making and feel of this song. They have trained a lot and seem to be enjoying themselves very much during all of their promotions and videos. I wish them a lot of success!


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