Knee Jerk Reaction: “Beam Beam” by Jeon Soyeon

(G)I-DLE’s leader and resident composer Jeon Soyeon is the latest female idol to make her solo debut. Well, she’s dropped a few digital singles before… but this is the first time she’s had an official fully-promoted solo release with a mini-album and everything. Plus she’s the first (G)I-DLE member to get one, so it’s all very exciting. I always find idols’ solo stuff really interesting, because I’m so curious about what music they want to make and images they want to show outside of their groups. Soyeon is very talented and versatile, so I wasn’t sure what direction she would take. To be honest, “Beam Beam” isn’t necessarily what I was expecting – but it’s a great choice that highlights her unique qualities as both an artist and as a person.

“Beam Beam” is a summery song that layers Soyeon’s distinctive voice with a mix of rock and old-school hip hop, two genres that are often known for making a strong impact. Interestingly enough, neither is an overpowering presence in this song since she opts for a more laidback arrangement. Except for the chorus, when that electric guitar really takes center stage and shines. Overall, it’s a fun and chill song with a hook that packs just enough punch to make its way into your head and stay there. I’ve only been listening to “Beam Beam” in the last couple days, and it’s grown on me IMMENSELY in that short span of time. I constantly find myself singing along to the super catchy chorus, or humming it while I’m not actually playing it. And while the choreography isn’t really my main focus for this release (for once), I think it’s pretty fun.

Like much of (G)I-DLE’s music, Soyeon had a major hand in writing and composing this song herself. She talks a lot about the “adult world” and being in her twenties in the lyrics, using summer as a metaphor to describe her burning passion and ambition as she enters a new stage of her life. As someone who’s now in their early thirties (sigh), “Beam Beam” really does remind me of being a young twenty-something. When I was 23 or 24, I remember feeling like my whole future was before me and I could really do anything. I think Soyeon does a great job of capturing all those feelings and bringing them to life through this song, and she also adds a bit of a rebellious streak that I think a lot of us can remember or relate to.

My favorite part of “Beam Beam” is definitely the music video, which is so entertaining to watch. I love how the main concept is Soyeon working at a burger shop but acting out a little bit on the job, and the sunny yellow aesthetic really suits her vibrant personality. But while it might look cute and fun, it’s filled with a surprising amount of sass and attitude – which is the kind of stuff that I live for, especially in K-pop. I love Lee Youngji’s guest appearance where she and Soyeon fight over spilled ice cream – truly hilarious – but my favorite part is that when Soyeon looks at the camera and adjusts her sunglasses with her middle finger. It’s such a small thing, yet so satisfying. I feel like the music video is saying that she’s a fun and easygoing person, but she’s also not someone to be messed with.


(NOTE: My options for each category are “Love,” “Like,” “Neutral,” “Not My Style,” or “Dislike.” But I rarely dislike anything, so I’ll mostly be using the other four.)

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I think every idol is good at their job – whether that’s through hard work or natural skill – but I also believe that Soyeon is one of those people who was meant to work in music. She’s so talented, and she can do it all: singing, rapping, dancing, and composing. I’ve been following her since her Produce 101 days, and I was always a little disappointed she didn’t make it into I.O.I. But five years later, I’m so happy to see her killing it with (G)I-DLE and now as a soloist. Personally, I was expecting something a little bit edgier from her that highlighted her main rapper status – something similar to what she does with K/DA, for example. But now that I’ve spent some time on “Beam Beam,” I’ve come to realize that it’s a perfect creative representation of who she is. I definitely respect that, and I think that’s exactly what makes this comeback such a success.

(“Knee Jerk Reaction” is a column I created to talk about comebacks or debuts when I don’t have a lot of time to write in-depth reviews. A knee jerk reaction is like an automatic response, so it’s a post about my initial thoughts on the song, the music video, and the performance if it’s available. Compared to my reviews, everything is more stream of consciousness and less analytical. And everything is 100% my own opinion!)

SOURCES: Music video belongs to Cube Entertainment. Featured image is from (G)I-DLE’s Twitter – you can see the original tweet here.

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