[Review] Jungle – BVNDIT

Returning yesterday was BVNDIT, with Jungle. This is the group’s 3rd comeback since their debut a year and a month ago with Hocus Pocus. Jungle is the title track of their second mini-album, Carnival, which also features Cool (which I have already reviewed) and Children (yet to review), both of which were released earlier this year. Let’s see what the group has offer with this latest comeback.

Jungle continues that intense sound that the group debuted and returned with in 2019. Their sound and visual concepts have aligned to the ‘girl crush’ realm since debut and they only stepped away from that side for the release of the two singles prior to Jungle. And while the group’s past title tracks have been rated fairly, I feel like Jungle is a step backwards and shows off that intensity in a not-so-good manner. The song goes with a middle-eastern influence within the dance track, which I personally don’t mind. I have praised many songs in the past for going with that foreign influence. What I do mind is that it is always there. Apart from the bridge of the song, it is never stripped away. It is always at a much lower tone so it is barely audible underneath the decent dance beats. This pretty much feels like an unnecessary incorporation, and frankly, it makes Jungle quite messy. I felt like they could have kept it when it was the main centre piece of the instrumental and then replaced it with more dynamic material to give the song some bulkiness during the other parts. I do admit it does give Jungle some colour and some character. It just could have been cleaned up. Another thing that the song lacks is a strong, catchy hook. I think this would have helped give the song some extra definition and made the song more robust. The only good solid part was the final dance break, just before the final chorus kicks in. But I felt like it was a bit too late for that.

The visual concept for this comeback was very strong and this definitely improves the comeback package by a mile. The members stand out throughout the music video, by wearing colours that pop in the various different settings in which they filmed in. There were some visual effects throughout the chorus, which helped make the video more captivating and helped boost the song’s appeal. The video was more of a close-up and choreography styled music video, but I think the video had some good points.

What I think is pretty strong in this performance is that the choreography used a staggered touch to some of the various moves, which I thought made the performance looked good. Unfortunately, the actual moves don’t really have much impact. The only part that looks pretty decent is that dance break just before the final chorus. There was some attitude to it, which I thought was good.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.8/10

[Review] Cool – BVNDIT

BVNDIT made their return yesterday with Cool. This digital single is unfortutaely not a formal comeback. But since I enjoyed the song a fair bit and it had a music video, I had to place it on the review list. Cool follows the release of Hocus Pocus (the group’s debut single), Dramatic (the group’s first digital single) and Dumb (their comeback track released back in November last year). Both tracks were pretty good at the time of their release, so let’s see if Cool has the potential to as cool.

I find the track to be fairly simple. It is straight forward. And sometimes you need to things to be straight forward or simple. There is a potential problem in the sense that simple could be rather boring. However, if done perfectly, simple can definitely be pleasing. I find Cool to be of the latter category. The song isn’t jam-packed with synths effects that feel unnecessary. We do get some synths in the background, but they are used sparingly and kept very light. This allows their vocals to be heard without being masked in any way. The melody stands out and this obviously helps makes the song appealing. There is also a fun vibe to the song. All of this gets me tapping along to the song.. Its simplicity also doesn’t take the fun vibes down the cutesy route, which wouldn’t their image/sound. I do find the ‘dramatic’ flair just before each chorus to be rather odd and random. Not sure that I like that. Overall a pretty cool song that has my finger over the replay button.

We have seen this effect before in some music videos. So it isn’t a new idea. But since it has been a while, the use of images over the top of the person in the music video comes off as a new and innovative idea. Paired with the song, I find the video to be very refreshing as well. While the idea already gives off the impression of a cheap video, the shots where the members are in the studio really cheapens and dulls the video. I don’t like that section of the video. If they just continued the overlaid images only, I think the video would have fine.

While this isn’t a formal comeback, we are pretty lucky to get a full routine to the song. We don’t really get to see it in the music video for stylistic reasons. It is a simple choreography that compliments the song. There really isn’t much else to really mention about this. I did like how the routine changed with the tempo during the bridge.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

[Review] Dumb – BVNDIT

We now find ourselves in awards season and it is time to make very important decisions for the 2019 year (no pressure). As I was browsing the nominees for the MAMA awards, BVNDIT stood out to me. Mainly due to the lack of songs in the second half of the year, as their other fellow nominees have released songs in both the first and second half of the year. After all, they can’t make us leave 2019 without another comeback to follow Hocus Pocus and Dramatic. To answer those prayers, the group returned with Dumb and their 1st mini-album, Be!.

Dumb is actually a pretty good song. There is a bit of a generic tone hidden in the midst of the song thanks to the slight Latin and tropical influence that Dumb goes for, which is something that we have heard way too often in the past few years. That being said, the song does increase their maturity from the previous comebacks and I think this works well with the style they have aimed for in their releases. The chorus and pre-chorus had a nice melodic touch to them, which made the song appealing to me. It just felt a little plain and some additional elements could have made it better. I was craving a little something extra in the verses and choruses to add a little vibrancy to the song. This could have made the song a lot more appealing and lessen the generic tone of the song. There was some monotone whoops they added after the choruses for the ‘dance breaks’. But as I described them, they are pretty monotone and don’t give the song that ‘bounce’ it needed. A rap sequence could have been useful to up the intensity and this could have made it appealing. But Dumb, as it is, was a nice follow up to their earlier works.

The music video was pretty aesthetic at the start. But as it progressed along, it lost that charm and ended up falling towards the generic side of the spectrum once again. I liked the emphasis on the colour red, which I think went extremely well with the song’s style. Their visuals were also quite strong in this video and it was alluring. Apart from that, there really isn’t much else to discuss regarding the video.

The choreography also suffers from the same problem as the song and video did. There were good moments throughout the routine. But overall, the performance looked quite bland. I put blame on the song as it didn’t give that dynamic potential to the performance aspect of the comeback. That being said, I did like the circular routine at the start of the performance and the chorus as well.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.2/10

[Review] Dramatic – BVNDIT

Joining yesterday’s rush of music (and music video) releases yesterday is BVNDIT’s surprise comeback, Dramatic. For those who don’t remember who BVNDIT are, they are a new female group who debuted last month. Consisting of five members (Yiyeon, Songhee, Jungwoo, Simyeong and Seungeun),  the group made their debut with Hocus Pocus, which is featured on the group’s debut single-album, BVNDIT, Be Ambitious!.

Unlike the song’s title, Dramatic was not as dramatic as I had expected. I thought the song would be more loaded and heavier. But the song ended up being on the light side. However, besides that, I thought it was a pretty ear-catching song to follow up with after their debut track. I think the best aspect of the song is its instrumentation. I find the rough dance up and down rhythm to be very intriguing and addictive. The short bursts of flute gave a nice detail to the verses. which I personally thought was a cool addition to the song. The way the song was presented meant that we didn’t get an opportunity to hear their stronger vocals. But given that logic, I thought the rappers fared better and did shine in this song. I think the only thing that could have really made the song better was a hardcore dance break. I was low key expecting that to occur. Despite the fact that it would be a cliche move, I think it would have given the song a more dramatic vibe and definitely made the song more appealing with an additional rush of energy.

Unfortunately, we do not have a full-fledged music video with this release. Instead, the ‘music video’ was a performance video, with some additional close up shots. But the main focus is on their choreography (and hence I shall discuss that section of the review here as well but I will rank them separately). This focus isn’t the end of the road as I think they do a pretty good job. One example is through their outfits, which were very fitting. The olive green coloured and black coloured outfits definitely matched the vibe of the song. As for the choreography, I thought their overall routine was extremely suitable for the song. There is a slightly edgy vibe in the song which they channel well. I really enjoyed the moves for the chorus and the post-chorus hook. I think they were the coolest out of the 3 and a half minutes.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10

[Review] Hocus Pocus – BVNDIT

Apologies for my absence yesterday, which saw the debut of a brand new group. BVNDIT is a five-member girl group who are currently signed under MH Entertainment, the same company that currently has Kim Chungha signed under. The group, consisting of Songhee, Yiyeon, Simyeong, Jungwoo, Seungeun, made their debut with the single Hocus Pocus, the title track from BVNDIT, Be Ambitious! (their first mini-album). Also, BVNDIT (pronounced as BANDIT) also stands for Be Ambitious N Do It, which is a little fun fact about the group!

Interestingly, Hocus Pocus has a number of similarities to what Chungha has previously put out. But BVNDIT also manages to put a spin on this sound and make it their own. To me, the song is quite typical, with not many elements jumping out of me at first listen. But listening to it some more has given me a chance to form some observations. A small fraction of the flute at the very start of the song reminds me of Chungha’s Gotta Go. And I was convinced that one of the members (sorry, I don’t know any member’s names) was Chungha based on her vocals, which is very similar to the soloist. While we were on the topic of the vocals, I thought there were quite nice. The song did miss that opportunity to include a rap sequence, which I think could have given the song a boost. I also did like the post-chorus instrumental break which has some brass and an ethnic sound, which makes it an intriguing part of the song, overall. I also enjoyed the slowdown for the bridge. Usually, I think a slowdown for a dance track isn’t the most ideal way to go, but this works here as the rest of the track doesn’t seem to be that fast actually.

To me, the music video is a balance between cutesy (though the brighter and vibrant colours at the start) and edgy (the darker tone that we get during the second verse). There are elements of both and I guess the video was made to show the two sides of the girls. Apart from that, I didn’t notice too much about the video that could be considered a plotline. Other than that, it was a nice visual introduction to the group.

The choreography for this debut track is pretty fantastic. I enjoyed the performance from start to end. It looked energetic and fun. I particularly like the choreography for the post-chorus instrumental breaks

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10