It’s Me (Pick Me) is the first digital single released for the second season of Produce 101. This time it features 101 male trainees and was used as the theme song for the show.
Released: March 9, 2017
1. It’s Me (Pick Me) (나야 나)
It’s Me (Pick Me) is just like its predecessor as it is a blazing upbeat EDM tune with a powerful drop. I feel like the difference between this one and the first one is that this one seems a bit more melodic while the first relied a lot on a simple, but intoxicating hook. Certainly, this one is still without a doubt a catchy tune and there are some great ideas thrown about. I especially love the drop where the title is repeated as the hooks really get stuck in your head. The music itself has no rest and it feels like a never ending blast of synths.
Overall: I’m still unsure which of the two theme songs (now three, but I’ll get there later) I prefer as both have their strengths. They are both exhilarating and powerful dance songs that have simple, but effective hooks. These are the types of songs I can easily play over and over.
35 Girls 5 Concepts is the second digital single released from the first season of the hit show, Produce 101. The theme of this single was splitting 35 girls into five teams, with each team singing a different “concept”.
Released: March 19, 2016
1. Make Some Noise – 24 Hours (24시간)
2. Pinkrush – Fingertips
3. Splendid Rivers & Mountains (화려강산) – Don’t Matter
4. Macaroon Honey Dduk (마카롱 꿀떡) – Yum Yum (얌얌)
5. Girls on Top (소녀온탑) – In the Same Place (같은 곳에서)
24 Hours is a fun ride. The EDM tune was created by the same people who created Pick Me, which guarantees it being an earworm. It’s a really odd song though because it blends EDM with some trot elements in the vocal department. The girls do a great job though and I love the blend of sweet and strong vocals with the powerful beat. With that said, the breakdown is the best part of the song just because it has so much energy. Fingertips slows things down with something more midtempo R&B/pop. It still has a lot of energy with a steady beat, but it just doesn’t have the same kind of punch the last song did. This song relies more on the melody and hooks to really get things rolling, which is great. I love the chorus as the delivery is really simple, but it’s still really effective. It’s the type of song that is easy to sing along to. Don’t Matter is the song with the “hip-hop concept”. It also has some really cool aspects with it when it comes to musical arrangement. I love the bouncy piano tied with the low tuba sounds. It brings a really different vibe. The vocal arrangement is still catchy, but I don’t think it’s as impactful, especially tied with the airy vocal delivery. It’s only once the bridge comes by that the song really gets its proper power. Still a good tune, just the weakest on here. Yum-Yum is supposed to be something a bit more abstract, but surprisingly catchy. The best part of the song is the buildup into the chorus and the rap that comes before that. These two parts really bring up the energy. The chorus is really repetitive, which isn’t bad, but it sort of loses the energy that the other parts of the song bring. I also wish there was more display of the girls’ talents as it lacks a show. The juggernaut of the show, In the Same Place brings the ethereal and innocent vibes of GFriend, but with a more futuristic touch. It’s a really beautiful song that really relies on the chorus and Yeonjung’s performance to bring the song to the next level. The melodic and catchy, but still showcases the vocal strengths of the singers. The verses are a bit dull and I don’t really like the over-airy vocals because it lacks strength (also the overprocessing). It’s still a beautiful tune and I love the music.
Overall: A lot of these songs are like knock-offs from popular groups already. 24 Hours was noted as sounding T-ara-like, Fingertips was more Girls’ Generation, Don’t Matter was 2NE1, Yum-Yum was like Red Velvet’s music and In the Same Place was similar to GFriend. I think that was a great idea because the concepts are quite different and they each bring a different vibe and using older groups as influence was a great way to bring five solid tunes.
PRODUCE 101 was a huge K-Pop survival program that was broadcast in 2016. It featured 101 female trainees from different companies who went through various rounds to make it into a final group of 11 members. PICK ME was released as the theme song for the show.
Released: December 17, 2015
1. PICK ME [MV]
PICK ME is an intoxicating EDM mess. The song starts off pretty bare with a heavy beat and an attack of synths. The girls come in with some high-pitched singing that almost sounds out of place. As the song progresses, it gains energy before entering the insanely repetitive and catchy melody that pretty much consists of a constant barrage of “pick me up”. The highlight of the song though is when it enters the instrumental breakdown and the heavy beats really come into foreplay. At first, everything about the song was odd, but it has a way to getting into your head and the song has some really clever aspects to it. I especially love the hooks in the bridge and the breakdown is intense and exciting.
Overall: This is the type of song that you either love or hate. It can be really repetitive and somewhat annoying, but I think it has some really cool parts to it and it is also insanely catchy. It’s just an overall well-produced tune.