[Review] WJMK’s “Strong” is a lot of fun but in a rather generic sense

Earlier this year, Pepsi brought together a quartet of ‘Produce 101‘ alumni for the addictive 80s pastiche “Love It Live It. This unit (YDPP) proved to be more fun than they had any right to be, so it only makes sense to repeat the project. This time, it’s the girls’ turn. WJMK drafts Seola and Luda from WJSN and Yoojung and Doyeon from Weki Meki for a second stab at Pepsi-centered pop euphoria. The result is another fun track, though more generic than its predecessor.

Without the strong 80s synth-pop influence, “Strong” doesn’t have its own unique calling card that might set it apart from like-minded girl group tracks. The song is incessantly bright, and the girls’ light, upbeat delivery is well-matched to the material. Its cheerful chorus is framed by a vocal trill echoed by the similarly structured synth riff that forms “Strong”’s backbone. Heavy pop percussion is thrown over the top, including a drumline-style build during the pre-chorus.

It’s these classic pop touches that give “Strong” its appeal, even if the song as a whole feels pretty slight. It’s catchy to a fault — in the way you’d expect from any commercial jingle — and completely innocuous. Its breezy melody never seems overthought (or thought about much at all, really), resulting in a series of throwaway hooks held together by their unflagging energy. This makes it ideal summertime filler, welcome on any playlist even if you might not seek it out on its own.

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