Doo Doom Chit…Doom Chit…Shake It! Shake It!
Ever since I heard Crayon Pop’s Bar Bar Bar cut through the dance music in a nightclub in Hongdae, I’ve been one of their fans. They’ve always been an exception in the Kpop world, succeeding in ways that more moneyed Kpop groups and companies can only dream of. They shot to fame with Bar Bar Bar and their shoestring budget performances, then went on to be personally picked by Lady Gaga to open her concerts, giving them arguably the best US success of any Kpop group so far. Now Crayon Pop continues to chug along, sticking true to their characters with Doo Doom Chit.
A big part of Crayon Pop’s success comes down to their addictive sound, which lies somewhere between T-ara’s club bangers and Orange Caramel’s infectiously fun tracks¹. Commercial success in Kpop relies on being super catchy, the kind of catchy that sticks in your head and you find yourself mindlessly humming while you open the fridge looking for something to snack on because its that awkward period before dinner where you can’t really eat a full meal but you’re hungry. And Doo Doom Chit has all the mind sticky elements there for that: it’s upbeat and energetic, it has a catchy hook (“Oh baby woah oooh woah ooh woah“), a simple and repeatable chorus (“Doo Doom Chit…Doo Doom Chit Doom Chit Doom Chit!”), and a saxophone, something the world has sorely been lacking since the 80s.
To add to all of that catchiness of it all, Crayon Pop have also jumped on an ASCII cat meme to base their choreography and MV off of:
c_\ \ \ \ ^_^ \ (' ? ') > ? ) / ~ \ / /\ \ \ / )_? / / / / \ ( ( \ \ | | \ \ | | \ ? ) )__) ?_)
I can’t exactly explain what this meme is or what its used or its appeal in South Korea is, but it does fit the simple, if not almost childlike, choreography that Crayon Pop excels at. They’ve also stuck to their cheap production values, which has become their shtick, by being more hands on with each of the members being in charge of different parts of the comeback: Ellin and Gummi choosing the outfits, Choa handling the makeup and hairstyling, Soyul designing the album cover and Way in charge of marketing direction. While they continue to do unconventional things in kpop, it all contributes to their goofy character and remains essentially Crayon Pop.
Overall, the comeback is a little more reminiscent of their catchy, fad songs like Uh-ee or Bar Bar Bar, rather than their more musical songs like FM, Bing Bing and Dancing Queen, songs that I think tend to have more shelf life than the others², but its really hard to not get caught up with this song. The girls seem to be having a blast making this MV and you can’t help but have fun as well.
¹ Like a lot of kpop groups, they share some of the same producers, like Shinsadong Tiger between T-ara and Crayon Pop.
² Vroom Vroom, the pre-release song for this album, fills that gap for me, so all is good.