[Review] BABYMONSTER miss another chance to establish their own identity on “SHEESH”

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BABYMONSTER represents YG Entertainment‘s hope for their next big girl group, and things got off to a rocky start, to say the least. Their “Batter Up” debut was uninspiring and was missing key member Ahyeon, and the follow up “Stuck In The Middle” didn’t do much to change impressions either. However, now they’re whole with Ahyeon in tow and touting “SHEESH” off their BabyMons7er mini, hoping to make a better impression.

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After all the backlash I’ve seen about their debut, and then more of it in the build-up through the teasers for this (that I purposefully stayed away from), there would’ve been nothing funnier than for “SHEESH” to be great. Unfortunately, that’s mostly not the case, as it’s a flawed retread of a formula that I already could only mainly tolerate in small doses.

The verses are actually promising, as the limited dramatic vocal moments in it are a highlight, but the chorus is basically “How You Like That” with not only a less catchy hook but a grating one, and an inferior instrumental behind it. The members themselves perform admirably, and fans of other hip-hop heavy girl groups probably shouldn’t be too loud in their criticism of the members, but they also absolutely sound like they’re imitating BLACKPINK members. Throughout the song I couldn’t help but hear exactly where Jennie, Lisa, Jisoo, and especially Rose would’ve fit into this. That said, the fans out there who love this kind of track (or at least pretend they do) shouldn’t find a ton to abjectly hate about “SHEESH”, and it’ll be interesting to watch how they navigate claiming they do without accidentally dissing their faves as well. After all, the reason it’s formulaic is because YGE has been doing this shit for a while now (and other companies have been copying them).

Still, BABYMONSTER’s actual problem is that observing the discourse around them might actually be the most interesting part of this comeback and their existence so far, because YGE still doesn’t seem intent to give them a chance to establish their own identity, and it’ll be hard for them to find their footing in K-pop until they do.