Giant girl groups with cutesy concepts are a dime a dozen in k-pop and setting yourself apart is a mammoth task. Some groups manage to refine the general sense of twee with their own identity. Momoland, prior to this comeback has been fairly generic in style but in “Bboom Bboom” falteringly attempt to find their own niche. The nine-member group has stayed true to their quirky, cute concept, but this comeback has turned a little giddier.

“Bboom Bboom” is a funky house track intended to capitalise on member JooE’s viral dance moves. JooE gained notoriety last year with an irreverently energetic performance of “Wonderful Love”. “Bboom Bboom” leans into the lighthearted spirit that drew attention to them and kicks it into fifth gear. Momoland takes full advantage of JooE’s zany vibrancy and doesn’t only place her in the center of the choreography but also integrates her moves into the dance.

The MV is partially set in an infomercial world where the members simultaneously advertise services while being on sale themselves. The infomercial universe has the members punting products like Hyebin and Nancy, but other members advertise services like Nayun and Daisy, who sell plumbing and exercise training. The infomercial idea isn’t carried throughout the entire MV, and only certain members are highlighted in that concept.

The products assigned to Ahin and Yeonwoo are not immediately commercial, so it’s difficult to tell how they fit into this home shopping world. Some of the members appear so briefly, that if you blink you’ll miss them. There’s an attempt made to give Nancy and Ahin a story arc, but they’re so rushed it barely matters. Yeonwoo’s arc is similarly hurried, but her character’s advert isn’t split between the beginning and end of the MV; it’s immediate. Because all the mini-ads were treated differently they seem disorganized.

The choice of products advertised by the members is random aside from JooE who is assigned a carbonated drink to sell. It feels like a missed opportunity to allocate one meaningful product and have the rest be haphazard. JooE’s notability is used throughout the MV, but it’s contingent on the public already being aware of her and her association with commercials. This would be fine if the intention was only to target existing fans, but Momoland is a rookie group still assembling a fan base. They need to reach past making inside jokes. Without knowing who the group is, the MV reads as a little off kilter, but not in a way that makes sense. The dancing is fun, but it doesn’t add a lot to the concept, and there are a few missed opportunities hidden away in the adverts.

The dancing scenes take up the majority of the screen time. Establishing the world and fleshing out the mini-arcs of the members’ ads could been given a higher priority. The insertion of computer-generated copies of members dancing makes the choreography more visually interesting. This technique is also commonly used in commercials, which brings some measure of cohesion to the concept. The point choreography is memorable and infectious, but it took up the majority of the video and detracted from the overall package.

The song itself is one of the strongest elements of “Bboom Bboom”. It’s catchy and has a wacky approach to instrumentation that isn’t common in current hits. The use of rhythmic elements in the vocal parts of the song is fun and will get stuck in your head for hours. The sexy rap breakdown is tonally very different from the rest of the song, so it comes across as slightly jarring.

Lyrically, the song refers to attempting to tempt a lover and get them to agree to a rendezvous. The lyrics link up somewhat with the concept of the video, but the madcap pace and quick changes don’t allow the connection to be apparent.

I’ll show off my charms
I’ll show you, pick up the phone
Now or Never Pick up Pick up

As a single product, the “Bboom Bboom” MV is flawed. There are missed opportunities and a reliance on things that feel gimmicky. Despite the questionable concept and its imperfect execution there are flashes of potential. The performance and song are good enough to make watching and listening to them enjoyable. Unfortunately, the MV production is messy and disappointing. This talented group deserves a lot more.


(YouTube (1), (2) Lyrics via Pop!Gasa, Images via Dublekick Company)