Momoland Put the Fun Back Into K-Pop with ‘Bboom Bboom’
Less a genre and more a lifestyle, sometimes it’s difficult to describe K-pop. The phrase, “I know it when I see it” could certainly apply, but every so often, a song comes out that epitomizes the very idea of what K-pop is at its core. Momoland’s “BBoom BBoom,” released January 3, is just that.
It's not hard to see what makes the girl group’s fourth single so charmingly addictive. Starting with a plucky string riff before moving into the song's main beat, fizzy synths and bouncy electronic whirrs lead into the chorus’ hypnotic hook. There’s not a single moment where the track loses momentum, even during its dramatic hip hop break; Momoland’s vocals never dive too far into saccharinity, and instead the nonet balances the lighter vocal moments with powerful belts and dramatic use of Auto-Tune. And then there’s the festive, colorful choreography, which puts playful blond member JooE — who went viral in Korea last year — front-and-center.
But what is most special about “Bboom Bboom” is the pirouetting; the repeated digital, almost brassy quirks that turn the song from traditional bubblegum pop into the sort of energetic, comically-tinged K-pop that made groups like Orange Caramel and Crayon Pop see success, paired with T-Ara’s funky retro-pop sound. This all makes sense, considering the song is co-written by BEOMxNANG and Shinsadong Tiger, the latter of whom wrote a string of T-Ara hits (“Bo Peep Bo Peep,” I'm Really Hurt," "Roly Poly," "Lovey-Dovey," etc.), as well as Crayon Pop’s most sleekly produced track, “FM.”
In an industry based around ingenuity and experimentation, the past few years have seen a shift away from this particularly animated brand of girl groups in favor of innocently sweet or mature girl crush concepts. With “Bboom Bboom” and the similarly peppy tracks on their Great! EP, Momoland have moved in to fill the void, offering a wonderful return to some of the very sounds and aesthetics that made so many K-pop fans fall in love with the industry to begin with.
After kicking off 2018 with a bang, it’s going to be a lot of fun to see what Momoland do next.
Plus, don’t miss these other K-pop stories from this week:
T-Ara Splits from MBK Entertainment via Yonhap News
SHINee to Resume Activities Following Jonghyun’s Death via Billboard
INFINITE Returns Without Hoya via Billboard