BabyMonster ‘Batter Up’ Review: The YG Formula Wearing Thin

What if I told you that a YG Entertainment girl group put out a massively hyped but painfully mediocre song that smashed all sorts of view count records and made a ton of money? YG has a formula and will stick to it, whether it’s with Blackpink or with its newest group BabyMonster and their debut song, “Batter Up.” I have a minimum word count that I need to meet; otherwise, my BabyMonster “Batter Up” review would simply be: “‘We have Blackpink at home.’ Blackpink at home:”

“Batter Up” contains all the hallmarks for a YG girl group song: Trap beat? Check. EDM pre-chorus that reverts to trap beat anti-chorus? Check. Someone going “Bbrrrrrrrrrtt” in a rap? Check. Piercing synth wind instrument in chorus? Check. Nothing about this song is new, and nothing about it is done particularly well. Blackpink’s “How You Like That” and “DDU-DU DDU-DU” are very similar songs and predate “Batter Up” by up to five years!

Additionally, both of those older songs are much more aggressive and bombastic in their instrumentation and production, so even if you don’t like them, they come across as much more impactful. As an example: All of these songs feature an acappella vocal track that leads into the chorus with an 808 bass drop on the very first beat. Blackpink’s songs let the bass drop decay over the course of four counts, or the entire measure. In “Batter Up,” the bass drop is choked off after only one count, significantly reducing its impact and sounding much weaker when compared to the other two.

The Review Verdict on BabyMonster “Batter Up”

While I was optimistic that a non-Teddy-composed song would be a breath of fresh air, it seems this production team tried to compose another Teddy song and did a worse job. The only bright spot for this song is the four-on-the-floor outro, which, in my opinion, really should have been what they built this song around. But once again, it’s not an original idea, as it is very similar to the outros of both Blackpink’s “Boombayah” and 2NE1’s “I Am the Best.”

Am I being too harsh on “Batter Up” for being stale in an industry that is rife with copycats and devoid of groundbreaking creativity? Perhaps, but if you’re going to release a song that is a facsimile of that of your labelmates, it better come with a fresh new catchy melody. As an added insult, the director of the music video is apparently a huge Taken 3 fan, and to further cement their legacy as “Blackpink at home,” look at the vehicles used in their respective music videos. Blackpink has a bedazzled main battle tank, whereas BabyMonster couldn’t even get a car with a roof.

Blackpink Jennie bedazzled tank Shut Down mv
Jennie from Blackpink with a bedazzled tank in the “Shut Down” music video, courtesy of YG Entertainment
BabyMonster Batter Up review digital single song - YG Entertainment with a weak formula and Teddy imitation
Ruka from BabyMonster with a vehicle in the “Batter Up” music video, courtesy of YG Entertainment

Ultimately, it should not hinder BabyMonster in any way, and I am sure they are going to break view count records and make enormous sums of money. I am mostly annoyed that all my searches for “Babymetal” will now be auto-completed to “BabyMonster” until I get to the letter “e.”

The BabyMonster “Batter Up” song was purchased by K-Pop Answers at its own expense for the purpose of this review.

One thought on “BabyMonster ‘Batter Up’ Review: The YG Formula Wearing Thin

  1. Agreed that YG went based on their usual formula. I didn’t think the song was that bad, but it definitely could’ve been better. As a YG stan, I, of course, appreciate how they continue to do the ending anthems since it gets me hype. I think this is one of those songs people don’t like initially, but you’ll find yourself humming/singing it randomly.

    Let’s hope their future releases get better, if not, YG has some explaining to do.

    (R.I.P to your Babymetal searches)

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