Girl's Day Takes a Risk With The Raucous 'Ring My Bell'
Countrified Realness RiskyMinah's Hair This Era
Sounds Better With The MV Than Just The MP3
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating 92 Votes

Whether or not you like the current girl group summer comebacks, you can’t deny that they’ve all been incredibly safe. SISTAR stuck to their formula, Nine Muses followed the clever “Drama” with a festival-friendly europop track, and AOA delivered another cosplay man-bait concept set to a “SO COOL” remix.

I expected the same from Girl’s Day, who realistically haven’t taken a risk since hitting it big with “Expectation,” but boy was I wrong.

Their new single, “Ring My Bell,” is a noisy clusterfuck of harmonicas, MIDI synths, electric guitars, cooed come-ons, hurried chants, Sunny Hill ling lings… It’s a hoedown throwdown on acid, and it’s fucking great.

2YOON was probably the first idol group to mix country music with dance-pop and they did a fine job of it, but Girl’s Day go for gold with no inhibitions and that’s why “Ring My Bell” is so exhilarating.

The first time I listened to it, a light bulb went off in my head and I suddenly remembered, “Oh yes, this is what K-pop sounds like! It’s weird and obtrusive and daring and fun, not just the generic bubblegum that so many outsiders paint it as.

“Ring My Bell” was crafted by two frequent collaborators of hitmaker Duble Sidekick, Homeboy and Long Candy, who were behind the other best girl group song of the summer, BESTie’s “Excuse Me.”

The craziness of the production is reflected in the MV, which is just a hodge podge of stuff. The arcade games from “Darling,” set pieces from “Problem” (surely a nod to their now iconic performance–Tell me tell me baby!), Blady’s wardrobe and choreography, some black guy with an afro. In their solo scenes, Sojin’s soaking wet in front of a champagne fountain serving sex, while Hyeri looks like she could be filming any number of KARA videos.

They’ve even messed with their image this time around. Sojin’s dyed her hair a trailer park yellow and CRIMPED IT, Hyeri’s abandoned her signature brown bob cut for long black tresses, and Yura’s rocking a fire red wig better than Gyuri, Sunny, and Krystal combined.

I’ve been a Girl’s Day stan since “Twinkle Twinkle” dropped, but after “Expectation” they lost their individuality and morphed into extremely pretty girls with extremely catchy, public-friendly songs. That’s fine, but their hits and concepts could’ve gone to any number of popular girl groups (one almost did), and you can never truly reach the top without some originality. Now Girl’s Day proved that they do deserve their spot on the A-list. “Ring My Bell” is an exciting risk and a promise for the future. If this does well (and it is so far), then who knows what could happen down the line?

And I don’t care if I’m the only one that stans this era. I’m the only one that appreciates the unfairly maligned “Tilt My Head,” and “Ring My Bell” is clearly the “Tilt My Head” of 2015!

yura gif

  • KingBeaArthur

    “Tilt…” will never happen, Jacques. LET. IT. GO.

    Ok. First listen/view of the mv I thought “what the fuck is this?”, then I listened to the song by itself and, without the distracting mv, it was really fun! The country touches mixed with a chorus that forces you (with a loaded gun to your head) to pay attention to it make for an honest-to-goodness wild ride of a song.

    Now the mv: a LOT is going on! A ton, even. But at the end of the day I walked away thinking “Yasss to wet Sojin; Hyeri STOP! I love you..; Minah’s wig is front-runner to snatch this era; and, Yura…red…so much red.”.

    • red yura and whitch-chicks sojin are the great bad bitches from this korean summer! girl’s day’s is deffinitely my favorite girl group visual so far

  • HAHA! yes i loved this for the huge mess it is and i didn’t realize at the time i first saw the MV, but this is indeed a return to the whacko crazy messy days of “twinkle twinkle”! but with actually some a-list savoir faire, like they’re allowed to go their messy ways now they’re more stablished than before.

    i love this one even more now.

    PS: i love “tilt…”

    • Yes Tilt is so iconic. Misunderstood classic too edgy for the masses!

      Girl’s Day widened the gap between them and AOA so much with this.

      • i love AOA and “heart attack” grows on me each day for the sole sake of easy shower dancing. but i agree that they should pause the try-hard-sexy crap for a while.

  • Db

    Bruh!

    This song is such a noisy, tuneless mess. Someone at Dream T put “everything that’s on-trend” in the blender and turned the dial up to 11. Still, it’s the “safe” Hurt Locker that hurt your ears?! Better get that checked.

    I like the chorus with its blazing fast hi-hats and I did find myself singing along to it, but the rest of the song isn’t doing much for me.

    I won’t stop pestering you until you see the error of your ways and proclaim your love for Hurt Locker!!

    • byoing~byoing.

      I’m actually pretty salty about this era too. One of the Muses, either Erin or Sungah have taught Keumjo how to look sexy :(

    • haha i totally agree with you on the “hurt locker” but disagree about “ring my bell”. song is soo exciting and as jacques put it “so k-pop” that i can understand why he hated “hurt locker”‘s safeness.

      • Db

        Knowing who released Hurt Locker, it’s anything but safe. It doesn’t fit into their past catalogue and is a total departure for the group. Sure the traditional structure of the song makes it sound safe, but it isn’t at all. You don’t always need to cram 4 separate song sections into one or add all the bells and whistles to make something daring.

        Take 4minute’s Crazy for example. That was daring and rather “safe” when compared to something like Heart Attack/Like A Cat/Ring My Bell, but it wasn’t boring in the least. It actually had a good dynamic going, bar the Jihyun bit of course.

        • it’s actually yes very safe in context – westernized EDM made by korean girl group.

          what i actually disagree with jacques about it is that it’s shit, because it’s not. it’s a fun and delicious dancefloor song and the chorus is great pop. i do think sometimes our dear blogger here expects way too much of his pop. sometimes music is just meant to be safe fun and it’s okay.

          however, in one point you made me remember 9muses past catalogue and if we happen to think that with their sweetune collab, they actually had a type of mature dance music that wasn’t particularly comparable to any other girl group doing 80’s style dance music back then… mr. former prophet blog here might be actually very accurate on his criticism of “hurt locker”, now that 9muses’ve gone to the safe-everyone-else-from-timbuktu-to-amsterdam-is-doing EDM.

          again, i don’t think it’s a bad thing.

          • I actually don’t think Hurt Locker is shit at all, I think it’s just come across like that because I don’t stan for it. I mostly think it’s shit for Nine Muses, but I don’t think it’s a bad song or anything. I would enjoy it more if it was from a floppier group, but the bar for Nine Muses is really high and they’ve had so many interesting songs that it was disappointing to see them go down this route.

            I actually love a lot of safe songs. I mean, hello, I stan Brave Brothers lmfao!

          • well you did imply that you hate it and never is going to listen to it ever in your life and period! :P

            kekekeke

  • byoing~byoing.

    The style choices for every comeback this summer for Girl Groups has been a complete mess. It’s all so noisy and loud (just like every song that’s been released lately I guess).
    I can’t with the two dollar K-Mart hair extensions they gave Hyeri. I can tell they’re as thirsty Eunji (9Muses) is for fame from here. Apart from that, I’m living for Yura more and more every era – I’m glad they didn’t give her more bars to rap on though, her lazy talk rap wouldn’t of gone at all with the frantic song.

    • yura’s hair uhg! it gives me trans urges i wanna be her.

      one thing i’m disappointed about this comeback is that the POP ICONS visual they explored for the teaser pics wasn’t used on the MV :'(

    • ChuLipso

      Like I know the girls are faces of some hair brand or some nonsense, but that doesn’t mean they all have to have different colors and styles from what they used to have. Sojin was already perfect, why turn her blonde? Fire whoever thought that was a good idea.

      Yura is the only thing salvaging this disaster. Even Minah becomes unbearable to listen to part way through the song. Let’s pray to the gods overlooking kpop that Miryo calls on Yura to do a song together so she can get away from the boring GD.

      I agree the style choices for each comeback so far have been very loud. I get that it’s summer, but you don’t have to turn up the saturation in the editing room to the highest setting (ahem GG), nor do you have to go overboard with the falsetto. This is why Namyu is killing it currently, they just went with a song that sounds good year round rather than one that only sounds good when you’re drunk on the beach at 1PM.

  • culchan

    No originality since “Expectation”? Am I the only one who thought “Female President” (song and MV) was awesomely bizarre?

    • it was, i agree. but we must also agree that it was so beyoncé influenced in terms of energy that it could easily be an ailee single [excpet for the bada-bada post-chorus, that is TO.TA.LLY girl’s day]

    • ADW

      To be honest, it sounds like Little Mix Wings. Same beat and the song near enough you can sing together.

    • I actually agree Female President was, but I don’t think it’s that great of a song overall lol, but yeah you are right.

      • Nicole Naeun

        Umm what kind of fuckery is this statement? Female President, song wise, concept wise, media play wise, is all THAT GREAT of a song, concept, media play.

  • CY

    Excuse Me was the first time I thought of when I heard it! May not slay as much, but still a GREAT comeback from God’s Day

  • HavokWWE

    TILT MY HEAD IS ICONIC!

    The fact that back then Minah wasn’t the Main Vocal, so nobody screeched and churned out high notes like they were being whipped by slave masters.

    Ji Sun and Sojin held it down with vocals and that song is amazing. I wish Jihae stayed and Hyeri left

    • nah… tbh jihae was useless at least hyeri’s been always cute.

      • HANI ♥ KEN

        she was hot in the twinkle twinkle video

  • At first listen I was too overwhelmed, and couldn’t really form an opinion. Did not understand the hate it was getting. However, the chorus won me over, mainly b/c I believe this will kill in live stages. It’s like the opposite of the new AOA song, first I loved it, now I can’t bother. Ling ling ling is now the backtrack to my heart.

    • the hate meaning asianjunkie rite? lol i love that site, i just mostly disagree with their opinions on music. and jacques seems to have finally put on words to me:

      “Oh yes, this is what K-pop sounds like! It’s weird and obtrusive and daring and fun, not just the generic bubblegum that so many outsiders paint it as.”

      asianjunkie personnel aren’t k-pop outsiders, but most of the things they like musically is what mostly sounds like koreanized western pop.

      • yeah, and they also they love boobs. The weird freneticness really grew on me, and like the best kpop, I love it more when it sounds so wrong, but feels so right.

        • yeah! and arcadey mentioned sunny hill’s “grasshopper song” on the review, and what is that but one of the best pure k-pop songs ever composed?

          PS: i love boobs too…that’s probably the main reason i like that site.

          oh no lol i remembered i like it because they make fun of the k-hep hep idols too <3 that shit is golden lol

          • Db

            Who doesn’t love boobs?!

            I like Asianjunkie and Arcadey because they don’t take themselves seriously and take a piss at the delusional kpop fans. We need more writers like them.

  • ohh and more: i’m always ready to hate on dream T for making girl’s day’s LPs actually EPs with the reprise already released singles and b-sides. but uhg… the moment “darling” starts playing i remember why we all should be reminded of girl’s day’s marvelous catalogue.

    • Bruno

      Dream Tea should have pulled a Yasutaka Nakata and released album mixes for Darling and Something (the latter even had like 50 different remixes on music shows, and some of them were actually pretty great). By doing so the LP wouldn’t look like such a lazy effort with 5 new cuts back to back and a bunch of rehashes afterwards. Oh well.

      • well… “expectation” was the same and although my initial tendency is of bickering i end up find it very satisfying since it ends up being like a greatest hits album of sorts, since i never complain about their discography.

        • Bruno

          Yeah, I felt the same about Expectation as well, but that album had 7 new cuts to balance its 5 previous singles. LOVE on the other hand has a 5 to 8 ratio, which is just ridiculous. We really didn’t need every b-side they released in 2014 in this album. Look At Me and Show You could have been left out and replaced with new content.

          • lol yeah… but well i love look at me and show you so, that’s all very subjective right?

          • Bruno

            I’m not saying these two are bad, but man, I wish we had more new songs on LOVE. =/

          • uhg lol i get you! especially after delicious things like “with me” and “macaroon”

          • Bruno

            The new cuts were all so different from each other this time around, I loved that!

  • Bruno

    LOL, I had no idea Hyorin passed on Something. You just KNOW that she was low key pissed when Girl’s Day hit it big with that.

    • hahaha well she deserved it.

    • ADW

      Low Key pissed to all of us, but backstage Hyorin is coming for them. She looks the type to have a syringe in her hair, ready for the day she sees Minah.

      • Bruno

        lol, #dead

    • Julian Jung

      OMG I had no idea either! After reading this, it makes sense though. “Something” was 10000000% made for Hyorin vocals. She would have slated it beyond anything Girls Day could ever dream of doing. Wow how dense was she to pass on it.

  • ResidentTHOT

    LOL Jacques wtf is happening to your taste? For some reason I had a feeling that you’d like some garbage clusterfuck mess like this. I think you have a bad misconception that any song that pushes boundaries and sounds like some quirky next shit is worthy of praise and applause. LOL nope. Nine Musestrogen owned this summer comeback era. Girl’s Day is a trashy group that just recycles old music or rips off other groups when they can’t. Like what the fuck is the chorus in this mess?

    • That’s actually not true, because some left field songs I haven’t liked before, and some very generic songs I love.

      • whatever

        You talk about experimentation in music, it’s irrelevant to whether you like the music so why mention it. With I Got a Boy you shit on people who “didn’t understand the experimentation” and said something like it showed how closed minded kpop fans are, it’s purely taste though.

        • I Got a Boy did show how adverse K-pop fans are to music outside of the norm. The fact is most K-pop fans are not music fans whatsoever, at all. They like the celebrity aspect of K-pop. They like the soapy K-dramas, or watching celebrities and idols on variety shows. They like the scandals. That’s why websites like Netizenbuzz, Pannchoa etc are so popular now, because you don’t even need to read anything or think much, you just get given a headline and a few reactions to it and then you get to join in too and voice your opinion.

          It’s like the difference between a cinephile who knows who the directors and their techniques and understands different genres, has a love for the art of film, and somebody who reads about movie stars in the tabloids and goes to watch Jurassic World because it looks fun. Which is fine, there’s nothing wrong with being that type of person, but most K-pop fans aren’t actually into music so they get off on criticizing anything that doesn’t fit into their little box of how they think things should be.

          • whatever

            Oh I get cha. You weren’t saying that their music taste was closed minded i.e. that kpop fans didn’t personally like the music because it was different, but saying that they didn’t even judge the music for themselves because they don’t care bout the music. I thought you were disapproving of their subjective taste in music, but you were actually just commenting on their behavior.

          • Pretty much. I mean of course taste is objective and everybody is free to like or dislike what they want and we all need to respect each other, but I do find in the K-pop community, at least online, that many of the people into K-pop don’t actually seem to be music fans which is a shame.

          • disqus_qnJiwqFrtW

            I’ve noticed this about k-pop fans for a while now and I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking this, your last two responses pretty much put all my feelings into words. You go to websites like NB, KPKF and PC (probably Twitter, too) and it’s clear as day that a lot of these people aren’t genuine fans of the genre itself, they’re simply fans of the idea of it…if that makes sense? They’ll complain about k-pop becoming too “westernized” and then continue complaining when Korean producers start getting more experimental. They’ll complain about the redundancy in visual concepts, but won’t bother paying attention to how much variety there is in k-pop musically. It’s saddening.

            I can already see myself becoming one of those grumpy, embittered fans (think of the top comments on EXILE/E-Tribe videos, lmao) once k-pop dies off for good and everyone moves on to the next big thing because hardly anyone ever bothered digging beneath its surface.

          • Exactly.

  • ResidentTHOT

    Oh and PLEASEEEEE don’t give GG’s Party anything above a 3. Otherwise say goodbye to the last of your credibility.

    • Party is actually growing on me tbh! If you look at it objectively without the high SNSD expectations it’s solid, and the b-side Check is GREAT. IDK how to approach it with reviewing though, since context is always key. Do I review it with Check as a single album? Do I take into account it’s part of a triple a-side comeback? Decisions decisions…

      • ResidentTHOT

        Do the latter!
        The use of autotune during the chorus (WE ARE T ONE or whatever the fuck they chant) just ruins everything for me. But basically it sounds like a j-idol/e-girls/Dream ripoff with a little bit of glitter. This could easily be released as a Japanese comeback single. Agreed with the b-side tho, it’s just fabuluuuux.

  • ohh another thing i love about this comeback: it’s not a fucking summer/beach/bikini concept!

  • UncleFan

    I liked this, but it doesn’t set the bar higher like “Darling” and “Something” did. As many others have noted, the MV is marred by bad hair, and I’m not happy with Hyeri’s stringy extensions.

    Honestly, after SNSD’s lackluster “Party” and that SISTAR song I can’t even remember, I feel like I’m still waiting for the song that’s going to define Summer 2015.

  • Julian Jung

    Let me start off by saying that Girls Day needs to STOP trying to be overly sexy, because it’s just really awkward and not natural for them at all. It’s like all they care about now. I mean, this group is the perfect example of what selling out can do for someone’s career. Girls Day has done just this, and now they’re a top tier girl group. But don’t get the wrong impression, I’ve never been a fan. They’re music does nothing for me, outside of “Something” which is great.

    After listening to the song a few times, I don’t hate it as much as I initially did. This song suffers what AOA’s “Heart Attack” had going wrong with it … just way too much production and layering. The verses offer nothing new or exciting and only bring the song down. The pre chorus and chorus though were highlights of this song! Everything else was just blahhhh.

    The hairstyles. Like wtf man, did they watch Slay Muses at the Dream Concert this year and tell their company “Give us what they have” ??? There’s only ONE blonde Sojin who can pull off the color well, and she’s not in Girls Day, I’m so serious. And the magenta haired girl doesn’t hold a candle to Minha. Then there’s Minah with the light brown hair and pink highlights trying to come after world class dancer Pyo Hyemi, like girl don’t even! I don’t know who the black haired girl is, has she always been in the group or is she an extra? Side note, I’ve never like Minah, something about her irks me.

    Was this the song to save kpop’s Summer of 2k15? NOPE. Was this the worst song of Summer 2k15? NOPE. It really wasn’t as bad as I thought tbh! But let’s talk about the timing and how they’re going to get slayed by SNSD’s lackluster single. That’s a commentary saved for another Jacques article, when it gets here that is.

  • William Love

    I’m sorry but yura’s deep pitched trannylicious drag queen rap is so out of place and unnecessary. Otherwise good song! I noticed miss minah gained some weight for this comeback cause her ass was looking real decent hanging out of her short shorts at that showcase

  • unloveable

    This song would light up eastern european and Scandinavian nightclubs everywhere if this got a worldwide release tbh!!!

    Idgaf what people say, this is the best song of the summer so far and sojin’s “boy say my name baby” is too iconic.

  • roelm

    “Oh yes, this is what K-pop sounds like! It’s weird and obtrusive and daring and fun, not just the generic bubblegum that so many outsiders paint it as.”

    I had a similar thought when I first heard the teaser thinking ” This sounds quite K-poppy.” I had just come from listening to Namyu’s Hurt Locker and so it was quite a contrast. This song has a retroish quality that I can’t quite pin down and I like it but ultimately falls short for me, especially the chorus.

  • Hyoyeon: The White Babe

    They made Hyeri so ratchet with those extensions and swimsuit I was so amazed like WHOA WTF THEY WENT THERE?!?! Hahaha!

    I love the song now as it is a testament of I Got A Boy’s legacy although that has been perfected by SM themselves with Ice Cream Cake but whatevs, Soshi trailblazing next level k-pop for the rest to follow. Eat that, YG! :P

  • j d

    Hated the audio, loved the visual.

  • Nicole Naeun

    This is the 2nd best summer comeback. Y’all trashing it clearly have generic safe taste.

  • Suzy Sooyoung

    So I’m obviously late commenting this but I FUCKING STAN FOR THIS SONG. It gave me life for literally two or three days. I was caught off guard and in a good way! So thumbs up for them. Even tho I wanted another “Darling” to slay my summer but just a week later APink got the song I need with “Remember” so it’s all good.

  • Pez

    I know I’m a noob compared to everyone else here, but what the fuck is it with the backlash?
    This is too good. Also, fuck, a whole other group whose discography I know have to review.

  • ThatKPopGuru(Pedro)

    This is so late (maybe cuz I found out about your blog like yesterday and I didn’t bother to make an account til now, and this was the current article I was reading – after nearly 100), BUT all I wanna say is that I’m on the “Tilt My Head” love train. How not to love super trashy pop mixed with the worst wigs in K-Pop?