Also making a Monday comeback is Golden Child with Ra Pam Pam. The song is the title track off their second studio-length album (titled Game Changer), which also dropped on Monday. This is Golden Child first comeback since their Yes and Burn It comeback at the very start of this year. In related Golden Child news, the group was scheduled to be one of the first groups to return to ‘offline concerts’ last month, but this was ultimately postponed due to a surge in local cases of COVID-19 in South Korea (which have affected a number of KPOP stars recently). I guess a bit more waiting is involved before we can see the Golden Child members (and other groups) up close and personal again. Glad that Ra Pam Pam was not affected.
Ra Pam Pam is a substantial track that allows Golden Child to both experiment and show off their skills in many departments. However, what I am missing in Ra Pam Pam is a robust bombastic sound that really highlights and emphasises the beat. That would have literally been a ‘game changer’ for me (trust me, when I get around to the album review, I will be using the same pun if the song evokes it). But instead, we were given a Moombahton beat. Personally, I felt that this was a bit too soft for my liking. Something metallic or electronic would have been ideal, in my point of view. Think of it as corners to a rectangle. I wanted something sharper like pointy corners, but Ra Pam Pam goes with rounder corners (sorry for going all geometry on you). That being said, the Moombahton influences, combined with the flutes, drums and other percussion in the instrumentation in Ra Pam Pam gave a nice Latin-pop like profile. Again, it isn’t an original idea. But I think Golden Child pulls it off well, especially since it is such an overused sound/genre in KPOP. For the vocals, I thought the group excelled in this department. Especially when it came to the choruses. The togetherness of the song’s main hook was really satisfying, addictive and catchy. I also like the syllable delivery approach in the chorus, giving Ra Pam Pam that sharpness I really wanted. The cleanness of the high note was quite good as well. I also really liked the rapping in this song. The energy that came from it and the momentum kept the song moving forward and was quite satisfying as well. Overall, Ra Pam Pam is quite satisfying as a whole song, but I just wanted something more honed and concentrated.
The music video of Ra Pam Pam is set in a dystopian future, with the members being sole survivals of what seems to be an alien invasion and an alien spaceship extracting energy from Earth. And per usual, the members of Golden Child are the ones to save the day. They monitor what is going on out there and hatch a plan to save what is left of the world. Only problem is that they cannot go out there as the dust is toxic and they only have two breathing apparatus. Daeyeol, who is over seeing his members being trapped in the confines of their refuge building, takes one breathing apparatus to shut down whatever machine has been set up to extract energy from Earth. Y follows him out there. The aliens catch on and destroy Y’s oxygen tank. Daeyeol makes the ultimate sacrifice by giving his breathing apparatus to Y before being shot in the back. However, he manages to key in the code and shut the machine down, which ends up wiping those masked aliens (or humans, not too sure). The other members go searching for the pair who is outside, only to find the atmosphere clear up. The members venture outside, and based on what their facial expressions, seem to realize that at least one of their own was killed to make it possible for them to go outside again. But it is revealed as a bit of a plot twist that Daeyeol may still be alive after all with the move of a finger. This music video is another case of a movie condensed into a span of 4 minutes. I hope there is some epilogue or a sequel to give me closure to the story. Only one small wish with this video – I just wished the ending font didn’t look so cheap.
While the song wasn’t as sharp, the choreography was. And I think this really showcase Golden Child’s performance skills once again. This was particularly observed during the ‘Ra Pam Pam‘ chorus hook, where they did Latin-styled dance moves and had a small bounce to said moves. I also liked their outfit concept for the comeback. It gives off sexy vibes that highlights their matureness and transition to ‘Golden Men’. Donghun and Jangjun really killed it on the style front this comeback.
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10