Song Review: Xdinary Heroes – Freakin’ Bad

Xdinary Heroes - Freakin' BadWhen it comes to Xdinary Heroes’ music, I just can’t gain a foothold. Thus far, I’ve found almost every chorus grating and gimmicky, and their punky aesthetic feels like cosplay coming from a mega-corporation like JYP Entertainment.

New single Freakin’ Bad is an improvement, though the song is still unlikely to find its way on my playlist. I appreciate the continuity and focus of its instrumental. There’s no irritating drop or unnecessary switch-up. Instead, we get a bluesy stomp that drives the track forward with attitude. The band is obviously talented and it’s nice to hear this sound in K-pop.

But yet again, I’m struggling with Freakin’ Bad‘s chorus. It’s catchy in an annoying way. While the hook sticks in my head immediately, I can’t say I want to experience it again. There’s not much going on beyond this centerpiece — mostly just rock star posturing that can’t quite commit to delivering full expletives. It still feels too calculated to me, and I have a feeling this will remain a struggle.

With that said, I really hope Xdinary Heroes prove me wrong eventually. There’s certainly a place for their energy in this industry.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

Grade: C


10 thoughts on “Song Review: Xdinary Heroes – Freakin’ Bad

  1. We may think that all those retro synth wave songs sound very 80’s. Meh to them all.

    This THIS song sounds 80’s. This song is more 80’s than all of the synth waves combined. This is every hair band ever sans the aquanet and tight spandex pants. Sex drugs and rock n roll, minus the sex and drugs and the actual roll. Or as Nick says “rock star posturing that can’t quite commit to delivering full expletives”.

    I am hearing Aerosmith “Rag Doll” by way of Warrant-type band. Find a catch phrase, repeat it in the chorus, all drums hitting on the beat. Back when the lead guitarist was as well known as the lead singer, usually a twofer or multi-fer at the front just like this kpop group here has. Like everything Spinal Tap. These kinds of groups were all surprisingly in high rotation on MTV back when, about as much as the retro synth new wave songs we typically associate with 80’s in the contemporary homages.

    For the kids here,
    Warrant “Cherry Pie” ‘
    Poison “Nothing but a good time” ‘
    Def Leppard “Pour some sugar on me” ‘
    Believe me, I could list another dozen easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My first thought was also 80s hair band! I think I like this better than their previous punk-lite efforts. Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the eng captions for this and the lyrics really ruined the flashback for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love these guys. They make me feel like I’m watching a little cousin have their first rebellious phase. Stick it to the man, kids! Turn your homework in late! Oh, the horror!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wear the makeup, the eyeliner!
      Devour the full bag of lollipops all by yourself for breakfast! Sit in the back row and sulk! Wear the same hoodie for a month without washing. Then suddenly start to wear all black, only black.

      Earring, ye…. wait, I don’t see any evidence of earrings.


  3. I’m charmed by the whole “rebel next door” concept that JYPE has churned out with xh. I can’t help but root for the quirky/awkward vibe.
    Freakin’ bad is the kind of rock I was once a fan of, and the last post-chorus ties the song nicely
    I liked Hello world! and politely ignored much of Overload, so Deadlock feels like a nice improvement overall. Things flow better? I don’t know how to put this but I feel the singing is more measured overall.


  4. I really really love the music these guys put out lmao! Like it’s soooo them! Their instrumentals just hit the right spot for me! They have their own style – and it’s completely different from the other kbands and you pick a random song from their discography and you immediately go “that’s like Xdinary Heroes”! There’s no mistaking their distinct style and that’s what I appreciate about them! They had all the means to go the Day6 or SKZ route but they struck their own vibe and though it’s not for everyone, I just can’t stop myself from enjoying their stuff! 🙃

    And their two vocalists – Jooyeon and Jungsu ; probably have some of my most favorite vocal colors in 4th gen boy groups! ❤ They vocal tones make me feel stuff!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m currently a bit obsessed with the track Dear H. The vocals are amazing.

    I love XH. It feels a bit like a high-school rock band going through their wanting-to-be-bad phase. Freakin’ bad, even. But it’s all theatrics, which is the fun of it all. Love it.


  6. I like this song very much. It is 75% in English already (my estimate). I hope the boys would issue an English version. The song is fitting for lightening moods and when doing endurance sports.


  7. Goodness I’m loving this album. It’s like Queen meets My Chemical Romance meets K-pop. It covers all the decades I’ve lived through 🙂

    One of my daughters showed me some fancam clips from the album showcase. Wow, these boys can sing! So good.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Am I finding the chorus so awkward and grating? Like how do they keep singing it live in a straight face? They shouldn’t force themselves to shout high notes if it sounds that irritating


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