In many ways, JO1 heavily remind me of Wanna One. Produce spawned groups that both have immense talent and have that one legendary song under their belt (Energetic and Born To Be Wild respectively) but are often relegated to material that isn’t inherently bad but doesn’t make the greatest use of their talents. However, despite JO1 basically being a K-pop group without the Korean, I think I’ve actually enjoyed more of their efforts than many of their contemporaries. A sentiment that extends to the groups latest and most bizarre single SuperCali.
You know, when I read the title for the first time, I literally made a joke about how it would be funny if they actually interpolated “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” into the lyrics. So imagine my reaction when I first heard the opening lines. JO1, I was just kidding. I didn’t actually want you to do this.
But bar that initial shock and incredibly interesting wordplay, SuperCali actually holds up pretty well on its own. The production is pretty damn fantastic, tracing a creeping bass line during the opening moments before expanding into some truly thrilling sonic palettes during its explosive climax. I love the way the tempo shifts here, bringing an already solid production to greater heights that moves from swerving industrial elements to a dynamic double time tempo shift that thrills just as much as the best moments in their previous masterwork. In many ways, the production pulls from Rina Sawayama’s excellent Akasaka Sad, a comparison that I don’t make lightly.
But then there’s that chorus. Despite how well the word is actually interpolated into the melody, I just can’t take it seriously. It does flow pretty nicely after a few listens but its length and overall context results in a rather hilarious contrast between lyric and production. I keep expecting to hear the “even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious” lyric to pop up after the repetition of the titular phrase and its omission is kind of a blue ball moment. But in the end, SuperCali is a pretty enjoyable listen. Rather than take it seriously, embracing the unintentional (or maybe intentional) camp of it all helps bring the track into the upper echelons of JO1’s singles run.
Final Rating: 8.25 / 10