Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: New.F.O–“Bounce”

New.F.O should probably be more concerned with basic airline safety protocols.

Did you like the song?
When word got out that 6Theory (with EnterArts) was creating a girl group, expectations were high. They’re the media gods who helped give English speakers access to the worlds of Kpop and Jpop (through sites allkpop and tokyohive). I will likely be forever grateful for 6theory because I’d be completely lost without AllKpop.

But no matter how thankful I am for the company, the fact remains that this song is absolutely standard for an electro-pop girl group debut. The song sounds like a mix of 4minute’s “Mirror Mirror” with Stellar’s nasally “Rocket Girl,” and the video has the overproduction and glaring lights of Chocolat’s “Syndrome.” Now, those songs have good underlying beats and tend to grow on you and are certainly catchy, if initially irritating, so I suspect that the same will be true of “Bounce,” at least for me. But no matter how much it may grow on me personally, I suspect that the average Kpop listener will be completely put off by this song. I’m disappointed that 6theory clearly doesn’t read comments or pay any attention to what Kpop fans generally think of heavy autotune, ridiculous English, and nasal lyrics, when fans are the ones who decide whether or not to fork over money for content.

New.F.O members

Narae, Soyi, JN, Mima, and Dana.

What was your favorite part of the song?
I liked the “pparit-he, pparit bare” part (to me, it sounds like “body, say body body”) and the two times they repeated those notes with different lyrics. They’re the only times the girls are really allowed to harmonize, and those moments are great. Too bad the rest of the song couldn’t match them.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
So the lyricists for this song just picked out random party-sounding words and strung them all together. It seems to me like the fact that the phrases turned out to be, you know, not grammatically inaccurate was entirely a happy accident. If English speakers spoke only in gibberish and actually said phrases like “bow wow,” this might actually work. Except their pronunciation is really bad, and one of the worst parts is how the ladies say “bounce.” Which is unfortunate, since the word is repeated 51 times during the course of this song. And please don’t get me started on the pronunciation of “story.”

Did you like the video?
Can anybody say f(x)? Often with movie re-makes and now this music video, it seems like the definition of “doing something in a new way” is just to do the old thing, except more expensively.

I guess what we have here is a good ol’ case of false advertising with a caveat of “but did you really expect anything different?” New.F.O.’s goal is “to change the entertainment world as we know it today,” creating a “New Five Order” so to speak, but all we’re getting here is the same old stuff. So much so that their debut is essentially indistinguishable from other girl groups debuting this year, except theirs has more pointless special effects. Oh, well, another disappointment.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
Um. I often joke about aliens coming from outer space in music videos, but this time it’s apparently true. New.F.O are literally space travelers arriving on a flying saucer from—what’s that?—oh, of course: The Dark Side of the Moon. Because dragging Pink Floyd into a Kpop debut will make it classier. The girls decide to leave their moon city in their flying saucer:

New.F.O Bounce screenshot alien world

I wonder how much rent is on the moon and if that was a factor in the decision.

Except the ride is apparently really smooth sailing because they don’t spend much time sitting in their crash-landing chairs (which don’t even have seatbelts). Instead, they start dancing in the spaceship.

New.F.O Bounce screenshot members

That does not look like proper landing attire, ladies.

Clearly they have a great insulation system in their glass-lined spaceship, because they enter the Earth’s atmosphere without even breaking a sweat. Then they make a pit-stop at this place:

New.F.O Bounce building

Where is this?

Anybody know what that building this is? I originally thought the White House, but that’s clearly inaccurate. Is that a lion statue in front? Maybe it’s some building in Korea I’ve never heard of. Anyway, then they arrive in Songdo, a major business hub and eco-city. There, they get out and start dancing again. Question: did they bring the backup dancers with them from the moon? Were they in a different part of the flying saucer? Did they have seatbelts? And who on earth is piloting the flying saucer while everybody is down here dancing?

New.F.O Bounce screenshot members backup dancers flying saucer

Don’t worry, it’s on auto-pilot. Clearly “bounce bounce” was meant to describe the horrible turbulence during the flight.

I will give the video this—it looks very shiny and polished, and it’s visually interesting if you’re into logic-defying computer-generated flying saucers and distant worlds.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
I enjoyed the dance quite a bit. It was the highlight of the video for me. I love that opening dance move where they backbend to touch the floor with one arm. And the moves towards the end remind me of U-KISS’s “Bingeul Bingeul.”

Look, a dance version was released! Awesome. They look great.

Do the members look good?
Most of the time. But I am not digging Dana’s weird purple track outfit-thing. What is that? Ew. And what’s with Soyi looking freakin’ amazing in some shots but really bad in others?

New.F.O members

Narae, Soyi, JN, Mima, and Dana.

Which member stood out the most?
Gotta give this to JN. She was front and center of most of the shots, which helped, but she’s also undoubtedly the best looking and most charismatic, even while wearing that shimmery blue sweater that f(x)’s Krystal already rocked earlier this year. Amber Mima was cute too, despite her awkward “oh my God” lines. :/

New.F.O members

Yay for name cards! Narae, Mima, JN, Dana, and Soyi.

Also check out their members’ profiles at EnterArts if you’re interested in more!

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or defiant about this, but yeah. Heh. What can I do? For all its major issues, it’s catchy.

Any ending thoughts?
Honestly, though, guys, I feel bad for the poor New.F.O girls. They’ve clearly worked really hard for this debut only to be shoved to the background in favor of more special effects shots. They’re not being dragged down to, say, Heart2Heart’s level, but nor are they being welcomed with open arms like I’m sure 6theory/EnterArts would have preferred. Hopefully their company will learn from this to please cool off on the autotune and let us hear the girls’ voices and see them without that irritating fake glare.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“They really enlightened me as to the theory behind bouncing: you have to jumpy jumpy up and down, up and down.”

Thanks for reading! Please comment, subscribe and request a review if you’d like. :)


  1. I was really dissappointed in this debut song. I sort of wanted to like it out of gratitude to 6Theory, yeah, but that didn't happen. I even didn't include them in the "newbie watch" part of my article of this month :/ So much hype before and such a painfully ordinary thing produced...

  2.  So much hype before and such a painfully ordinary thing produced...

    That was basically my issue with it. Their name means that they will change the industry (whatever that means), but with tracks like this, nothing is going to change.

    I really wish I could read Russian!! But I at least like the pictures and stuff you post. :D

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