Yes, I gave this the same score as NMIXX's O.O and if I could turn but back time, I would give it an even lower score. That's how much I HATE this song. This is GOT the beat's Step Back.
Step Back is the debut single of GOT the beat, the first subunit of Girls on Top, SM's female supergroup. Did that make sense? I hope it did because I will not be talking about it further. Step Back was composed by Yoo Young-jin, Dwayne Abernathy Jr (or Dem Jointz), Taylor Monet Parks and Ryan Jhun and its lyrics were written by Yoo Young-jin. Step Back peaked at number 4 on the Circle Digital Chart and won three music show trophies. It was included in the Best of K-Pop 2022 year-end lists of publications such as Cosmopolitan and Teen Vogue.
This is, without a sliver of doubt, the ugliest K-Pop song of 2022 for me. Is that super mean? I'm sorry but that's just my truth and I cannot sugarcoat it any longer. I seriously cannot comprehend how a group composed of BoA, Taeyeon, Hyoyeon, Seulgi, Wendy, Karina and Winter - literally some of K-Pop's most talented ladies - can release a song as shit as this. Now my feelings for Step Back didn't used to be this ill. I remember enjoying GOT the beat's performance video of this because, yes, these girls are really super talented. "Yas, Taeyeon, that high note is iconique," I remember telling myself. But with every subsequent listen, my hatred for this song just grew exponentially to the point that I had to pretend that this song doesn't exist or else I will lose it. It genuinely traumatized me. But I had to listen to it again thanks to this rate and lemme tell y'all: it remains as shitty as ever. Get it away from me!
This has got to be Uncle Dem Jointz' worst production ever. The absolute lack of creativity... the cheapness of it all... if a nugu group's song has this kind of production, I'll probably ironically stan because of the budget, or lack thereof. But this is an SM Entertainment production and I expect the most expensive-sounding shit from them. And Step Back's is far from the quality I have come to expect from SM.
The verses... god, what is this vocal delivery? What is this croaking? And then we have the pre-chorus - which I admit is pretty catchy - but the oversinging is so painful that it feels like they are doing all of these crazy ass high notes to compensate for the shitty songwriting. Sorry girls but I won't fall for it. And what's with the male background vocals? Yoo Young-jin, you have a lot to answer for! With a lineup this stacked, there was literally no need for you to appear in the song! And the chorus... is an even bigger embarrassment. You have three main vocalists in Taeyeon, Wendy and Winter. Seulgi and BoA are competent vocalists too. So why do they sound like that? Why do they sound so shrill, so amateurish, so un-SM-like? What happened to SM's signature harmonies? And then we have the rap sections... god, Karina is so much better than this, they did my girl dirty. And then the middle 8... some lovely vocals finally! But BoA saying "girls, bring it on!" is so cringeworthy and then it's immediately followed by the "step back, step back, step back, silly girl!" line which is even more cringeworthy.
Is the whole song a joke? Am I being pranked? What the fuck is this shit? I'm literally pulling my hair while listening to this song right now. The trauma is coming back. Enough is enough! I quit!
GOT the beat came back in January 2023 with a new single called Stamp On It. I know majority of y'all hate that song but to me, it sounds like an angel's hymn compared to Step Back's satanic chanting. But unlike Step Back, Stamp On It flopped on the charts so I don't even know what to expect next from GOT the beat. All I know right now is that... the worst is over. I can finally go back to pretending Step Back does not exist. Little wins, etc.
Let's go to the comments! eliminathan awards Step Back a 0 and he has this to add: "The all female equivalent to SuperM was supposed to be earthshattering especially since they have (debatably) the best vocalists from the 2nd, 3rd AND 4th gen all in one group with Taeyeon, Wendy and Winter respectively. What we got instead of something good like Jopping or One was this demonic abomination where we are subjected to BoA adlibs, Hyoyeon and Karina having a rap-off and worst of all random male backing vocals. Even the adlib section in the bridge is screechy and grating from everyone but Seulgi." THANK YOU! Jopping outsold! And Serg. wants y'all to be honest with yourselves: "This is one of the worst songs ever released and it held that title for so long up until their comeback this year. It actually amazes me some people could love certain idols so much that they would lie and say this song is anything other than utter disposable trash."
The way I didn't even touch on Step Back's problematic lyrics FFFFFFF... but a few of you have something to say about that. Ana Raquel notes: "The only remarkable thing about this is the meme of this being a sexist anthem. This is why we need feminism! (to avoid bad songs like this one)."Attis has woken up: "Thank God my common sense is back, down with patriarchy!" Wills also had a change of heart: "I was hot on this at first, but the arrangement really is quite hideous – all these grating elements needed something with a little warmth to help balance."roblognick is not a fan of chanting: "The chant going on in the background is really distracting and quite annoying."Macsun can only utter: "ughh." Spill.
Meanwhile, a few of y'all commented on the wastage of GOT the beat's talent on a song like Step Back. Joli Chat asks: "how can they have so much talent in one group and give them this song? Maybe HYBE acquiring sm isn’t that bad of an idea."savilizabeths adds: "Everyone in this lineup is better than this. I won’t deny it’s catchy and I too am sick and tired every day, but this is not it for me at all."Glitterizer rebukes it: "The fact that all these amazing women get to perform together but THIS is the material? I can't. I know NingNing heard this garbage and noped out of the room!" And vague laments: "now, this one actually -is- obnoxious, imo. what a waste of talent."
Salami has quite a lot to say about Step Back: "It’s another song I think is pretty rubbish until I listen to it. I do think though with the quality of idols on this, it should've been better. It's not bad by any means, but it's not Jopping. Let's see if they can deliver an album as good as SuperM (although that new one GOT the beat have done doesn't give me much hope). I sound like I hate this but I don't. The church bells and the raps are what makes this. I think those who hate Sticker will also hate this. Or they won't actually because it's females here." But what about me who worships Sticker but hates Step Back??? eatyourself introduces us to the different levels of trash: "This is trash. But when said trash is laced with a sample of the voices that come from the gates of hell + the silly girl lyric, you have to admit it's top tier trash."Shockbox allows: "A bit screechy in places but it's allowed I guess when it's this level of vocal talent in one group."
Björk sunbaenim gets namechecked thanks to Crisp X: "Seulgi should receive a daesang for unleashing her inner Björk on "the øøøønly girl who liyyyyve in dreäääääm." The way I also hate this line GSHKJFGSAKDJHFG!! soratami lives for a good Gregorian chant: "That Gregorian chant sample is so good, Dem Jointz kinda snapped on this one." ohnostalgia shades: "Notice how SM didn’t translate the Stamp On It lyrics during the 2023 online concert..." KII! I didn't even notice! And Vixen stans the vocals, of course: "Lord, this song…..... Unfortunately no matter the discourse about this one, I just cannot score anything lower than a 9 for Taeyeon's earth-shattering highnote!!!! Like... GOD. Probably one of her most impressive vocal ever. And it's the fact that BoA and Wendy don't sound shabby at all themselves. They just ate a little too much, I don't know what else to say..."
Let's go to the people who gave Step Back a 10! boom bazooka joe defends Step Back: "This song is for Silly Girls and Silly Girls only. Sorry to the serious girls who don't get it." But bbynewyear is ready to fight a silly girl?: "They had a lot of people scared with this one. A boastful track that just gets you a little hyped up! idk we can certainly a have a song for every occasion and sometimes you wanna fight a silly girl!" So is this song for the silly girls or against the silly girls??? Make up your minds, besties! aux channels his inner BoA: "I gaslit myself into loving this song after learning the choreography for it. I listened to it so many times that I now cannot listen to it without dancing like BoA. Please, someone save me." Dance for us, king! And Inland Empire joins the stannage: "It was good wasn’t it let’s face it." NO I WILL NOT!
Lastly, we have clowezra who is an out and proud SM stan. Defend away, bestie!: "I can understand my SM stan card gets me free entry to being completely obsessed with this, and I can appreciate people finding it a bit abrasive but…this is such an unmistakable smash to me. The sample and delivery make everything feel so deservedly regal and elevated, I’m not sure what else Dem Jointz could have done with such powerhouse talents, and I’m delighted with what we got teebs! The bridge (and BoA announcing it) is one of the best moments of 2022, starting the year off with it was thee serve."
HEHSHHSSHSJSJ I realize now that I came off pretty mean in the post but I really just…… I am just so sad for the potential of GOT the beat. I guess my expectations were just sky high and what I got was……. not sky high, let’s just say that FFFFFFF!!
But please let it be known that I am not judging anyone who loves/enjoys/tolerates Step Back!! Everyone is free to love what they want, etc. ♡
Step Back is possibly the kpop girl group single/title track I despise the most. My advice to disband Got The Bomb still stands. At least O.O and Dice have better instrumentals and production but Step Back sounds so amateur and potato-derived. I wrongly gave it a 5 because I individually like the members but once again this group doesn't work, musically, artistically, comercially, etc.