Release Date: August 4, 2021
- Bubble Up!
- JOLLY JOLLY
- SUMMER DAYS
- Let’s Dance
- BIM BAM BUM Japanese Ver.
Woollim Entertainment’s Rocket Punch dip their toes into the Japanese market with a six-track EP titled Bubble Up! Excluding the introductory overture and the Japanese language version of their first single, you get four brand new Japanese songs.
The title track gives a basic idea of the type of music that Rocket Punch brings to Japan. Based on this song, it sounds like there is an honest effort to cater to the tastes of Japanese listeners.
Bubble Up! checks off many of the boxes that fit what one would expect of an idol song made for Japan. It has that bright, uplifting feel accompanied by an equally cheery video that doesn’t go too overboard on the cuteness.
The only unchecked box is for vocals. The members of Rocket Punch are much better vocally than the at times off-key squeeze toy noises that pass for singing in Japanese idol pop songs. So that could be considered a fail depending on how accurately you want Rocket Punch to translate over to Japan.
As for the other three original songs? They are much better than the title track. They all follow the same musical template of high tempo, dance-pop fitting of the summer season. However, that doesn’t mean you are getting the same song three times in a row. Each track has its identity, and what works for you will depend on what fits your mood. The standout for me was JOLLY JOLLY. It has a feel similar to the pop-oriented “m-flo loves” tracks from back in the day.
The Japanese Version of Rocket Punch’s debut single BIM BAM BUM is placed at the end of this EP, and depending on where you live; you may not have access to listen to it. However, if you have a Japanese or Korean Apple Music or Spotify account, the track is likely enabled for you. If not, you can try to find the stand-alone digital single and hope that it’s playable.
The song isn’t any different from the Korean version. However, some of the lyrics in the chorus don’t flow as well due to translation and the fact that Japanese can get hella wordy sometimes, which makes the flow of the word the girls are singing less than ideal.
My expectations for Bubble Up! were pretty low, as the title track didn’t blow me away. However, the b-sides made up for what the a-side lacked, and my impression of the album improved over repeated listens. Overall, this is a fun first step into Japan for Rocket Punch that should satisfy the thirst of their fans until their next Korean release comes along.