JJ Project - "Bounce"

It’s taken me time to write about JJ Project because I’ve been enamored with them for the past week and a half, which led me to just watch them in awe and spazz over them (that and I got sick earlier this week, so I was pretty much useless after I put out my Inki recap). Even with just three proper songs on their EP, there was so much to digest, and so much happening. In a good way, of course, but a lot nonetheless. I think you’ve all caught on to the fact that yes, I like JJ project, despite half their EP being rap-centric.

The reason why I like them so much is because they’re convincing, because there is as much effortlessness in their execution as there is conviction. See, this is what I mean when I say that execution matters just as much as good material. While good material will take you places, equally competent execution will drive the point home.

And that effortlessness is really what you need for material as fun and straightforward as the songs on “Bounce”, because what these two guys do is give the otherwise thin JYP material some spring. Save all that soul for Miss A or half of the Wonder Girls -- I like my boybands jumping through hoops and fire like there’s no tomorrow. Not that JJ Project is technically a boyband, but then again, you can say the same about DBSK post-JYJ. Anyway. “Bounce” is what I’ve been looking for in a boygroup for a long time now -- effortlessly fun material, complete with literal jumping around stage. But at the same time, whether you watch them or not, the material is still brilliant, which instantly adds points to their score.

And really, the production on this EP is glorious -- almost reminiscent of what JYP did to “Wonder World”, which was epic in every way imaginable, the only difference is that while the Wonder Girls were sophisticated and crisp, and JJ project gave the material just that much more grit and spunk.

Bounce”, the song, is all over the place. One minute you have rap verses, the next you have singing over a hip-hop loop, then out no nowhere this rock part comes up. In all honesty, if I wasn’t so used to the stunning “Rising Sun” and “O - Jung. Ban. Hap.”, I’d find it strange. And let's face it, it's not the world's most amazing and ground-breaking song either, However, two things make this song so right -- the fact that I have background in K-Pop, which eliminates all shock, and the fact that, again, the two of them carry the song so well, with the right amount of everything. And by everything, I really mean everything -- from intensity and conviction, all the way down to grace and effortlessness. Honestly, and I know you’ll all probably kill me for the corny pun, but the only way to accurately describe “Bounce” is that is has bounce. Literally. Good choice of title, JYP.

Bounce” and “Hooked” remind me so much of pre-DBSK boyband material brought to the present, where we have all these fancy new recording equipment. The basics are all there though -- the rapping, the singing, the song structure, and even the melodies and chord progressions themselves.

Hooked” is my favorite of the three, but I can honestly say that I love this entire EP as much as I love the songs individually, and this favoritism is more a personal preference than it is a technical one. The melody is gorgeous, the hook is catchy yet ridiculously subtle (did you even notice it?), and the rapping is so much more bearable than all the other acts I’ve heard over the years. It’s so 2005/2006 Rain/Se7en in the way it’s “Hip-Hop”. The song as a whole is slightly heavier than “Bounce”, but the effortlessness is different in “Hooked”. It’s like the difference between dark and milk chocolate -- while they’re both really good, dark chocolate is a lot heavier to the taste.

Honestly, if we were talking of just melodic parts, the ones on “Before This Song Ends” are my favorite. Backed by as epic as an instrumental as you can get from techno, the melodies are really flow-y and absolutely stunning, and Suzy sounded great as well. Although, what I didn’t like with the song is how even JJ Project’s execution couldn’t hold the song together. I mean, they did it with the same amount of conviction and effortlessness as the rest of the EP, and that part shows in the song, but the structure itself is very disjointed, even more than “Bounce”. Add that to the fact that the hook was deliberately made repetitive, and you have something that only really sounds good at a club or in large, open spaces, not at home, through your headphones. Although, may I say that it’s effective in being a clubby, and that’s basically the point of the song.

I know I said the Shinhwa album was the best release of the year so far, but I’m afraid they’ll have to relinquish that throne to JJ Project. JYP may have had a lot of blunders over the years, most of which I refuse to acknowledge anymore out of shame, but when he gets it right, he really gets it right. Because this, my friends, is how you handle a debut -- by going full steam ahead, carrying actual talent and bucketfuls of conviction.



  1. this article is awesome!!!! JJ Project hwaiting!


Want to share any of your thoughts on the above post? Drop a comment here! I read all comments and reply occasionally, especially if you have specific questions for me. :D

Note that comments are moderated. Spam, self-advertising (K-Pop-related and otherwise) and overly vulgar submissions will NOT be accepted. If you want me to promote/endorse/follow/link to your site, please e-mail me at popreviewsnow@gmail.com instead.


Recent Tweets

Like Pop Reviews Now on Facebook!

Statistics (Since May 2009)

Music - Top Blogs Philippines Follow on Bloglovin

Blog Archive

You're reading an award-winning blog

The K-Pop Writers' Workshop

A workshop for writers of critical pieces on Korean entertainment -- formal reviews, expository essays/Op-eds, and personal essays/Creative Non-Fiction.
Learn from the best in K-Ent writing