The deluge of rookie k-pop groups seems relentless and Tiny-G seems likely to be another drop of water in the massive ocean of rookie groups. And, unfortunately, for the time being, they kinda are another drop in the ocean. Marketed as a “b-boying hip hop group”, their third single is anything but hip hop. Dropping their “b-boy” image briefly for a sassy concept, Tiny-G drifted back into the realm of genericness. With nothing groundbreaking about this release at all, this earworm of a single was not exactly the tough hip hop I was advertised about.
Visually, this release is generic. The girls are dancing in various, flashy backdrops while sporting colorful outfits. The lightning exploding in the background during the scenes where the girls are dancing on that stage-like area was particularly headache-inducing and added nothing to the visual quality of the video. Honestly, it’s not like lightning in the background will make this song seem any more hardcore than it already does and the flashing is just distracting and annoying. I honestly do not understand what a stormy construction site has anything to do with girls missing their lovers. Please leave me a message if you would like explicate that metaphor.
Choreography-wise, I would imagine the girls to be completely bored by it. Very simplistic and very generic, the choreography suffers from “been there, done that” syndrome. The whole kitty claw and “Mikuru beam” moves were cute and endearing but the odd head-shaking and doll-like moves took the cutesy factor a little too far, especially when seen in the context of the backdrops. The backdrops clashed with the cutesy moves on several occasions, especially when the girls are seen at the backdrop with the lightning and scaffolds. It really hurt the integrity and cohesiveness of the video because the tough-looking and ominous background was not reflected in the girls’ dancing. Where was the b-boying? Where was the toughness? And if they were instead going for sass, where was the sass in the dancing? They were practically being kittens and dolls.
The song itself does not redeem much either, unfortunately. The track begins questionably enough – “babies, who are you?”. And, of course, someone responds with “I’m tiny jeh”. One cannot help but snicker at groups who cannot pronounce their group name properly (I’m looking at you, “4minnus”).
After a cringeworthy intro, the song then leads to a rather catchy chorus. One thing that bothered me throughout the chorus though was when the girls were singing “bogopa”; someone in the group was pronouncing it as “bogofa” all throughout the chorus and it was really distracting. I had to look up the lyrics to make sure they were trying to sing “bogopa”, and sure enough, the lyrics are “보고파” (“파” is “pa” in Korean hangul [with the “p” in theory being realized as [pʰ], for the linguistically-inclined]). Maybe the [pʰ] is being realized as [f] because of the vocal processing or someone in the group has a heavy accent of some sort but it was a weird quirk in the chorus that threw me off a bit because I don’t remember Korean having a [f] sound. Linguistics aside, the chorus was repetitive and a little stale. I definitely enjoyed the disco elements which were slightly obscured by the electronic sounds and the syncopated piano redeemed an otherwise boring, droning chorus.
The verses are more instrumentally sparse than the chorus so the funky disco sounds of the song manifest themselves much more here. The small addition of electric guitars gave the song a much-needed edge but it was such a small addition that it didn’t do much in terms of diversifying the song.
The rap section was seriously the shortest rap section I have ever heard, being three very short lines, so I am really pushing it when I am calling this the rap section. The bridge in which main vocalist J.min belts it out was the climax of the song and the only redeeming quality of the song. It was not the most powerful or emphatic bridge I have heard being belted out but it was being belted out and that’s all that matters for a rookie release. The fact that this group has someone who can belt it out is enough for me because that means this group has a vocal powerhouse to work with.
I think the best way I can describe this song would be that it was essentially a musical run-on sentence. The transitions between the choruses and verses are very minimal and it seems like a relentless cycle of verses, choruses, and bridge, which detracts from the song a bit because there isn’t any room for us listeners to breathe when every second is filled with vocals and melodies that aren’t exactly prolific or exciting.
The repetitive chord progression and lyrics make for a very potent earworm, being catchy but not for the best reasons. I can imagine it being a song that you don’t want stuck in your head but it will be because the song loops its choruses and verses without end. I get it, Tiny-G. You miss me and you don’t know why.
Unfortunately or fortunately, the standard for rookie groups have been raised increasingly high. This kind of release may have cut it a few years ago when there wasn’t as much competition but, with so many new rookie groups releasing edgier and more interesting releases, a straightforward release like this one just does not seem to garner much success nowadays. The ethnic diversity in this group (Mint is from Thailand) and the short stature of all of the members cannot be selling points of the group any longer. As much as appearances and the visual appeal of a group is a significant part of k-pop groups, the group must match that visual quality and more when it comes to their music. If you want to be successful in the k-pop genre, you have to have the looks, the song, and the talent to back up the song. I think Tiny-G definitely has the look but the song doesn’t allow me to judge if they have the talent to back it up.
The problem here is that any k-pop girl group could cover this and nobody will be any the wiser. It is generic, uninspired k-pop at best. I’m sorry but the retro train left the k-pop station a few years ago. Like the backdrop in this music video, Tiny-G’s k-pop career is currently only a bunch of knocked down scaffolds and is stormy at best. Here’s hoping they will build something grander and more substantial in a future release.
Also, can we please get another choreographer for these ladies? We gotta ditch the weird head-shaking and doll marching.
Generic dance pop with sprinklings of funky disco and one of the briefest rap break ever. Mint being Thai and J.min being able to sorta belt a line are the highlights.