[Review] BABYMONSTER debut with an all-too-familiar sound on “Batter Up”

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For a group that carries a lot of hopes for YG Entertainment on its shoulders, it’s been a surprisingly tumultuous lead-up to debut for BABYMONSTER, including the exit of arguably its most prominent member. Now the pressure is on for the group with the average age of ~16, and they’ve come out swinging in their debut with “Batter Up“.

For the most part, it’s unfortunately difficult to get into the song because it’s completely formulaic K-pop girl crush. The chorus sounds like a lesser version of “DDU-DU DDU-DU”, except the whole effort doesn’t quite have the same bounce in comparison to even that track. Other than BLACKPINK comps, BABYMONSTER also suffer from the flood of girl crush concepts, as it makes it difficult for them to not sound like a retread at this point in time. I was mostly uninspired while listening, but “Batter Up” tries its damnedest to redeem itself in the last 30 seconds or so, when things switch to something of a club beat and it becomes a more anthemic effort. Wish they had just rolled with something like that the whole time.

Complaints about the debut song aside, the members themselves showcased their potential on “Batter Up” in trying to will this track to decentness. The vocals acquitted themselves well, albeit in a very YGE blueprint type of way, and the rappers were arguably the strength of this track, which is a K-pop rarity. So hopefully they’re eventually given better and more consistent material than this moving forward, and at least the finish of “Batter Up” gave me some hope for a different direction than everything that preceded it … but unfortunately, not too much.