After several delays, Crayon Pop will finally make their official Japanese debut this month–and they couldn’t have picked a better song to do it with.
The single is called “Ra ri ru re,” and I have no idea who produced it or what the English lyrics are. The only thing I could figure out is that it has something to do with the basics of learning Japanese, specifically getting the “R” sound correct.
It’s the kind of senseless concept we’ve come to expect from Crayon Pop, a group with the unwavering ability to turn absolutely anything into a fun time. They’re like Shake n’ Bake happiness.
Even by Crayon Pop standards though, “Ra ri ru re” is weird. They rarely sing, choosing instead to speak the lyrics with a strange lilt or to chant the song’s title in unison. Sometimes the song sounds like PC music, other times it’s a synthy ’80s number or an Atari game.
“Ra ri ru re” is far more unusual than an Orange Caramel hit or many of SM’s proggiest productions, but Crayon Pop probably won’t get the credit for that because they’re too out-there, too kitsch, too camp, too self-aware for people to really recognize the mad genius bubbling underneath.
But if there’s anywhere that’s really going to ‘get’ Crayon Pop, then it’s Japan. The hallyu wave is more like a puddle over there these days, but maybe Crayon Pop’s shtick will be odd and exciting enough to turn the tide in their favour.
“Ra ri ru re” drops July 22.