Over time, the K-Pop Review community has grown from a few individuals into a full subset of the internet. Now, TheBiasList, Kbopped, 10/10 – Music, Hallyureviews, Jei’s Kulture Notes, Deforested Music, A Floating Realm in the Corner, 8.5 Music, and Kpopreviewed are working together, to create a series, where we review our favorite K-Pop summer songs.
Before we get started – please make sure to check out everyone’s posts in the links below! I have provided direct links to everyone’s posts so far (and will update this post with the new links as they come out!)
- August 10: 10/10 – Music
- August 11: A Floating Realm in The Corner
- August 12: Kbopped
- August 13: Jei‘s Kulture Notes
- August 14: hallyureviews
- August 15: 8.5 Music
- August 16: Kpopreviewed
- August 17: Deforested Music
- August 18: The Bias List
First of all, I have to say…. I feel VERY honoured to have been invited to be a part of this enormous collaboration of KPop bloggers, each of whom I really admire and whose work I love to read (big thank you to 10/10 – Music for bringing us all together and whipping us into shape!). We are a supportive bunch, so it would mean a lot to me if you would check out everyone else’s posts too!
Secondly, when I first heard that we would be doing a summer review, I agonised slightly over my song choice. I made a list which comprised of fifteen songs, and somehow I ended up with one (miraculously!). Shock horror, I haven’t chosen a boy group. Even more of a shock, it is not a second generation group. Although I might seem like a pretty predictable KPop fan, this time I wanted to show my hidden joyful side and spotlight a song that makes me smile every time without fail, and one which just completely epitomises my personal idea of summer.
Okay, I tried to be unpredictable, but maybe to some people this is still rather obvious since WJSN (Cosmic Girls) are one of my favourite girl groups of this generation. What a fantastic collection of title tracks! It is worth saying that my favourite girl group was Starship’s other eponymous summer group, SISTAR, and their B-side track ‘Summer time‘ (which I was going to review but I don’t like reviewing songs without an MV haha!) is my other go-to summer song, so it is quite clear that Starship have perfected a sure summer sound that satisfies my own ear drums.
‘Boogie Up’ was released in June 2019 – the title track to WJSN’s first summer special album ‘For the Summer’. The album debuted in the number one position on the Gaon Album chart on the week of its release, making it WJSN’s first number one album (and what a well deserved accolade). Title track ‘Boogie Up’ hit our speakers just in time to jumpstart the summer months with a tantalisingly brisk and refreshingly bright sound. The song, which was composed and arranged by Wonderkid (responsible for some of the big happy sounds of the past few years, such as songs from The Boyz, SEVENTEEN, TXT, ENHYPEN) and 신쿵 (who also has written on some of these recent Wonderkid tracks too), takes on a familiar thirst-quenching appeal, offering lithe rhythms and simple but addictive melodies to emit pure joy and excitement from start to finish. On the lyrics credits we have 달리 (who has songwriting credits with AOA, N.Flying, fromis_9, SF9 and more), and of course WJSN’s very own EXY, who often writes her own rap.
At the time, ‘Boogie Up’ was quite the divergence from WJSN’s existing music, seeing the group leave their mystical, sophisticated sounds behind and instead opting for full on electro-pop, with rapid pacing and colourful instrumentals. The brisk rhythms give quite the sense of disco, while also lending themselves to a fantastic performance. Not only does the music have a makeover, but the members’ vocals too have quite the lift, sounding brighter and higher-toned than some of their previous releases, but in true WJSN fashion, that high register is absolutely no problem for this exceptional group, and gives off an even greater sense of youthful exuberance.
Although the first verse remains extremely light and breezy, there is a great sense of rhythm here, with well paced beats and intercalations of rhythmic guitars and twinkling synths, giving a groovy, but magical, edge to the music. Comparatively, in the second verse we see the KPop trademark rap drop, which isn’t always the best way to carry on the energy of a song, but EXY’s natural charm and unique syncopation keep this verse moving with such momentum that it expertly diversifies the sound profile, offering some brief respite from the snowballing sound, while still maintaining that vibrant colour.
The verses give way to a great pre-chorus which really does its job by scaling up the energy and exploding into that dance-worthy instrumental chorus. Although the chorus is actually void of hooks (this is my least favourite kind of chorus), the pure charisma that the music exudes in this part makes the absent hooks something that can rarely even be noticed. Quite frankly, I had barely realised that the chorus was this empty until reviewing this song for this post. This is one of those moments where, evidently, a fun energy will win at all costs – I have been hoodwinked (in a good way).
The killer part of this track, for me, is that outro sung by Yeonjung and Dayoung – there is something infinitely cathartic and somewhat familiar about the oscillating melodies in those three simple lines that just really neatly ties up the entirety of the song and helps to end ‘Boogie Up’ on a happy and heartwarming note. Maybe it’s just me, but it makes me want to sing my heart out together with them (and also dance on the beach with them too – but that’s another story).
Don’t get me wrong, I would be lying if I said this was WJSN’s best song – it isn’t, however, it will always stand out in my memory for being such a vivacious and addictive taste of summer. Summer, to me, is all about high energy, frolicking and dancing, and bright blue hues (thank you Hong Won-Ki from Zanybros for bringing out that summer sky in the MV) and this song has all of this in abundance! The lively music, crystal clear vocals and barrelling charisma all roll together to make this song one explosion of sweet, satisfying joy, and every time I hear that unforgettable guitar strum in the introduction, you’ll find me cranking up the volume. I was lucky enough to see WJSN perform this song live, and it might actually have been some of the most unreserved fun that I’ve ever had at a show – that’s a pretty telling sign. A definite stayer on my summer playlists for many years to come!
Don’t forget to check out the legends Lina and Una at hallyureviews tomorrow – they are reviewing one of my FAVOURITE songs in history, from possibly my favourite group to exist (the guessing game begins).
Header Image Source: Made by Lina (@hallyureviews)