Friday, January 31st, 2014

Dal*Shabet – B.B.B. (Big Baby Baby)

Perfume ads are made of this!

Edward Okulicz: Less a song than a collection of sounds stolen from 80s teen-pop and early 90s dance. Of course, it’s a collection of wonderful and kinda underused sounds in today’s climate. Just the rapid-fire pre-chorus and the cheeky hints of “Push It” make this worthwhile.

Tara Hillegeist: A veritable human league of eurythmic proportions, at Hollywood levels of glossy, plastic perfection in its pursuit of the pleasure principle. Are Dal*Shabet trailblazers for a new romance, or just trying to sell me a new perfume?

Anthony Easton: Sometimes too much is not enough, and sometimes too much is too much. If this was cut in half and everything was stripped except for the “oh baby, oh baby” chorus, I might be in love.

Alfred Soto: Massive intro synths and metronomic percussion augur a track of video game precision, capped by the English cry “I can’t take no more!” The results are closer to Sweet Sensation than Exposé.

Jessica Doyle: This is one of two retro-gloss female-group songs with an English phrase repeated after every line currently getting attention; the other is Spica’s “You Don’t Love Me.” And Spica got the more cohesive (albeit less interesting) package. “You Don’t Love Me” is slower, in a style with much more room for call-and-response. That’s harder to pull off in something so synth-driven. Here the chorus takes advantage of the informal Korean word for “you” (ko-neo, or neo) and strings it to make na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, and it’s great! The momentum is building in a way to make Pete Burns proud — and then they have to stop to hit the b’s. It’s okay. It’s pretty close to awesome. But not quite there.

Brad Shoup: Just imagining the windup to the triple-time bridge made me throw out a pack of cigarettes. It’s still a nakedly desperate move to spike a club-pop xerox. At the end, though, they let a phrase go on a couple beats too long; that’s where the distinction was hiding.

Madeleine Lee: It’s at 2:40, after the false ending, that “B.B.B.” gets weird: the middle eight’s pitch warps in and out like a damaged vinyl, the vocal effects sound hand-cranked, and when the beat comes back, that’s when you start noticing the Depeche Mode darkness in it. It has the desired effect of making you replay the song just so you can be pulled in by it again, and the undesired effect of rendering the first 2 minutes and 39 seconds tedious, to say nothing of the awkward speed-singing.

Katherine St Asaph: Nothing but K-pop retromania, but nothing but the hits: Salt-n-Pepa, New Order, early Madonna and a pinball machine that just flashed a jackpot.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Like last year’s GLAM single “I Like That,” here a South Korean girl group takes on the pep of freestyle and gives it a dose of relationship worry. “I Like That” was a manifesto for post-relationship independence and accepting the terror of singledom; here Dal*Shabet map out the moment a relationship begins to sour, making it the precursor to GLAM’s mini-hit. It sticks closer to the freestyle template than GLAM did, but finds space to modernise it — scrunched-up speedy deliveries, passages of brief atonality in the middle eight — without betraying its immediate charms as a parade of outré dancefloor moves.

Reader average: [7.5] (8 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

7 Responses to “Dal*Shabet – B.B.B. (Big Baby Baby)”

  1. Okay, you can’t just copy and paste hangul characters into the Jukebox editor. Good to know!

  2. I couldn’t even copy/paste that one into WordPress using Unicode! Hopefully I have inserted it in a non-terrible fashion as an image.

  3. WordPress is notoriously the worst platform for non-Western languages. They only recently started supporting Czech characters!

  4. The cheap MV drags it down, this is *really* good live.

  5. I’d’ve given this an 8 and driven up the score, damn my laziness

  6. Tara, that is a work of art

  7. Have you heard the Shinsadong Tiger (the producer of this song) Remix version?