Over the past few months of writing about Kpop, I find that it’s better to write about something you feel strongly about – for better or worse – than to write about something doesn’t impact you.
Like… “you couldn’t care less about it if you tried” type stuff.
Unfortunately, this stuff does happen very often in Kpop, especially when it comes to debuting groups. Most times, you tend to get something somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of good versus bad. I feel like a lot of this comes with small companies wanting to play it safe with their new groups until they find a sound that suits them/gains public appeal. In simple terms – if you don’t come from a big company with money to burn, you’ll be floundering around for a little while until something sticks to the public. It happened with STELLAR, it happened with VIXX, and it’s gonna happen again with HIGHTEEN after their debut, “Boom Boom Clap.”
I tried to do some research on HIGHTEEN before I wrote this review, but I couldn’t find too much about it. The only thing that I know is they come from a company called Illusion Entertainment which – when I searched it on Google – was virtually non-existent, save for an American film company of the same name.
This could only lead me to the conclusion that HIGHTEEN is coming from a nugu (unknown) company and HIGHTEEN is the first group coming from them. I couldn’t help but be a little surprised about this because…wow.
There’s a lot of quality here.
Usually when an entertainment company is just starting out, you can generally expect crappy camera work, cheap sets, and a bad song to boot. But surprisingly this debut is not terrible in this respect. Rather, they have some really good camera work here, the sets look decent, and the song isn’t that bad either.
Does this mean I like it though?
Within the first twenty seconds of the video I couldn’t help but cringe at the English opening of the track, “Hey! What’s so funny todaaaaaaaay?!” It wasn’t because it was mispronounced or even grammatically incorrect – it was the way it was said. It started out peppy at the beginning and then quickly went into screech territory by the time it reached “today.” It kinda just dug an ant-sized hole in my brain and as I listened to the rest of the song I couldn’t help but think about that one little phrase and how it affected my perception of the song.
Like I said before, the song isn’t fundamentally bad. It IS pretty freaking generic by Kpop standards. Dozens of these songs come out every single year, and even when I was trying get into the song I still found my head perched against my hand because I felt absolutely nothing for it. There wasn’t even a hook I could get into. In fact, I’m pretty sure once I finish this review I’m going to forget this song ever existed, save for if I scroll through my reviews page when I’m bored and trudging down memory lane.
Thankfully, I don’t think this is going to be the last we hear from HIGHTEEN. On a side note, I have to give it to the girls for being really enthusiastic and cute in their respective scenes, and to the company for giving them something decent to work with. Despite my misgivings of this song, I feel like HIGHTEEN is going to be one of those 2016 groups we’ll see two years later killing it on the charts.
It’s just not gonna be now.
What did you think of HIGHTEEN’s debut? Do you like it? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see you next time!