iKON naming a title track of theirs “Bling Bling” while the hype leading up to their comeback was going into a fresh, new style is extremely appropriate for a group whose most prominent member believes not taking showers is hep-hap.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, which is that whenever a Korean artist says “bling bling”, we cannot NOT think of SHINee‘s Minho first and foremost.
Fittingly, that was exponentially more entertaining than “Bling Bling” was, which was musically a combination of everything terrible about K-pop going hip-hop. It tries to be loud and bombastic to be impactful, but it mainly just comes off as noisy and messy with enough default yolosweg included to be actively annoying. Yet somehow despite the volume of the track it also manages to lack any type of pace to it, making it a surprisingly boring effort. Furthermore, the melody drones on more than appeals, and it doesn’t even use the messy, off-kilter instrumental to change things up, rather insisting on just keeping together essentially the same pattern throughout.
Listening to “Bling Bling”, the only good thing about it is that they resisted the temptation to say “sweg sweg sweg” in rhythm after the “bling bling” chanting hook, because otherwise it seemed like the type of song to do exactly that and think it’s really cool. As one would expect, the fact that the best thing is simply avoiding being more embarrassing is not the best of signs for the release, and “Bling Bling” ends up sounding as perfunctory and cringy as the title would suggest.