Golden Child is definitely a group that I’d like to see get some more recognition. Their discography is so solid, and they consistently do good work. They’ve also been getting more creative as time goes by, which I find pretty impressive. When they released “Burn It” in January, I was so taken by their music video and its emotional story that I actually cried. (I cry at lots of things, but usually not K-pop… so that’s saying something.) Even eight months and dozens of other releases later, I still vividly remember it. Now, Golden Child back with another quality music video – and a pretty great song, too.
PLEASE WATCH THE MUSIC VIDEO FIRST IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPOILERS! 🙂
“Ra Pam Pam” is the latest example of Golden Child’s penchant for more mature and sexier music, layering the members’ smooth vocals over a steady moombahton beat. The chorus is especially memorable: both the first half with its alluring melody and the second half with its more forceful hook. (If I remember correctly, the “ra pam pam” part is supposed to be like a heartbeat.) Personally, I wish it was just a *tad* more powerful in certain parts of the arrangement – I feel like it wants to pop off at some point, and it never really does. But at the same time, I think keeping the tempo so consistent gives the track a nice palpable intensity throughout the whole song.
The choreography does a good job of making “Ra Pam Pam” look more pronounced and dynamic. I’m generally a visual person, so my mind often wanders when I listen to mid-tempo music like this. But watching the dance helps me really notice all those nuances in rhythm and energy (if that makes sense). Plus Golden Child is a group of excellent dancers, so they excel at taking their music to another level through performance. And I really like how they incorporated elements of latin ballroom dance into their choreography. I’m certainly not an expert – all my knowledge comes from obsessively watching So You Think You Can Dance as a teenager – but it was cool to see movements that were similar to paso doble and tango.
Like “Burn It,” my favorite part of “Ra Pam Pam” is the music video. It’s set in a dystopian future where some kind of oppressive regime has giant machines generating chemicals that make the air toxic, and the members of Golden Child form a resistance as they plan to shut the devices down. As the situation grows more dire, Daeyeol heads out on his own. Y follows him, but gets in trouble when the guards shoot a hole in his air tank. Daeyeol gives him his remaining air supply and manages to deactivate the machine, despite breathing in the poison and being shot several times. While the ending seems like a bittersweet outcome, the last shot is of his fingers twitching – so it appears to conclude on a hopeful note.
Personally, I’m really happy Golden Child is continuing to make music videos with such compelling stories. Detailed narratives used to be so trendy back when I first got into K-pop, and now they’re pretty rare – so I always get pretty excited whenever they pop back up. Also, the film school student in me is very pleased that there’s a nice self-contained plot that’s easy to understand from the first watch. I’m sure there are more details to discover through multiple views but all the essential information doesn’t require too much analysis. And most importantly, I’m glad the music video complements “Ra Pam Pam” without getting in the song’s way. When I watched “Burn It,” I got so caught up in the story that I barely noticed what it sounded like. This time around, I think the music and the video were more equally balanced and thus better complemented each other.
MY OVERALL INTEREST LEVEL
(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.)
I have nothing but good things to say about “Ra Pam Pam,” and I like it quite a bit. However, I don’t feel overly inclined to listen to it a lot. Maybe it’s because I so many other comebacks to catch up on over the next few days, or maybe it’s me just being picky again. (I might have mentioned this before, but I feel like my K-pop tastes have become SUPER picky this year and I don’t know why.) But while “Ra Pam Pam” might not be my absolute favorite Golden Child track, it ranks pretty high up there. And more importantly, I still think they absolutely delivered on all fronts. So if they keep doing what they’re doing, they’re going to be just fine.
(“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: Featured image and music video belong to Woollim Entertainment.