WINNER are finally back after centuries of being locked away in YG Entertainment‘s dungeon, but thankfully their sound didn’t come back as dated, and “Really Really” deserves to put them right back on the map.
In their time away, WINNER have kept up with the trends in K-pop, going with a house sound for “Really Really”. It’s a trend-riding choice, for sure, but that doesn’t make it a poor one. The peppy, driving beat keeps things moving along swiftly for most of the song, and while nothing much is added for the chorus besides volume and extra synths, what changes did exist were amplified by the rapid build and use of silence that immediately preceded it.
That said, the effort actually gets off to a rather inauspicious start, as whoever leads the vocals employed some kind of soft, lifeless style that took the wind out of the sales of the instrumental. I’m not sure why that choice would be made to give listeners the first impression of WINNER upon return, but thankfully things improve rapidly from there, starting with the blonde dude that stabs an EpiPen into the track.
Of course, singing wasn’t the only thing deployed, and it was a rather surprising choice to have Mino be the one that quasi-raps. Oddly enough it worked out fine, but Mino was simply setting up the rap verse to follow that was the highlight of the song besides the chorus for me, with a perfect beat to flow over and the “ooh ooh”/”wo” interjections helping make it pop out even further.
Ultimately though, what makes “Really Really” a success is how listenable it is. The replayability is high because of this, and the simple “really really really really” of the chorus makes this a trop-house hook song of sorts, which ends up being a perfect choice.
After a bunch of hype about the music video being filmed overseas and all that … it was kinda whatever? I mean they definitely could’ve done the ‘group of pensive, smoldering dudes’ look anywhere, and nothing much else is done.
They look great, of course, but even that is more in spite of the music video, which washes them out at times with odd lighting/contrast.
Also, I don’t understand the decision to mostly have them stand around. This is especially true during the chorus, which is just begging to be danced to.
At least Mino is pretty and smart.
WINNER have tragically been locked away in a dungeon for 500 years by dickhead YGE, but with “Really Really” they’ve managed to make at least half of their two-song allotment count with a serious but fun tropical sound that really reminds us what we’ve been missing for the last year.