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Song Review: BABYMONSTER – Like That


Though I should know better by now, I’m still surprised at how well BABYMONSTER’s Sheesh has done on the charts — especially given its lukewarm-to-awful reception in many critical circles. This is a good reminder of the sway YG Entertainment still holds over fans, along with the broader fact that disgruntled internet chatter is rarely emblematic of the wider, offline world. With that said, I’m still not a Sheesh fan — except maybe as a bad meme.

The group is following Sheesh‘s success with a special performance video for Like That, the second K-pop track in the past two months composed by singer-songwriter Charlie Puth. Even a few years ago, I would have never imagined devoting space to Puth’s output on this blog, but here we are. His airy, groove-oriented style is an odd fit for K-pop’s more maximalist presentation, but “subdued” is popular at the moment so Like That matches the trends. Its guitar-and-whistle beat is sparse but funky, allowing the girls’ vocals plenty of space to breathe. That’s more than you can say about noisy tracks like Batter Up and Sheesh, and will likely please fans looking for an arrangement that bucks traditional YG tropes.

Like so many singles of the moment, Like That strongly recalls sounds popular in the early 2000’s. I was especially reminded of The Neptunes’ production on Justin Timberlake’s Like I Love You, though this track is far less engaging or combative. Instead, Like That is content to remain mildly groovy throughout. Its instrumental keeps an arm’s distance, never yanking you in with palpable force. That approach is left to BABYMONSTER themselves, and they steer Like That with a clear — yet oddly reserved — confidence. This description actually fits the song as a whole. There are many delicious ingredients involved, but the overall product is a bit undercooked.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

Grade: C+

Tags: babymonster, k-pop, kpop, rating 7, review, YG. Bookmark the permalink.



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