When I first got into kpop, I was convinced that Miss $ were some sort of sub-unit of miss A. This was based on nothing more than ignorance and name confusion, though for as little recognition as the group has now, Miss $ actually debuted two years earlier than the much-more-popular miss A. Even today, they’re one of the few kpop groups that I know very little about, so I came into Don’t Speak Without Soul free of any preconceptions.
And… I left the track free of any impression.
It’s rare that a kpop song leaves me so cold. Literally, the moment it was over, I had no thoughts about it whatsoever. I didn’t like it; I didn’t hate it. It was just there, taking up space and time. But knowing that I wanted to write about it today, I gave the track a few more spins in the hope that something would stick. On subsequent plays, the hook left a slight mark, but the problem I have with it is the same as I have with the entire track. The beat and melody are almost too in sync, causing the general sound to plod in a very unchanging structure. Despite brief moments of pause, the tempo feels without any sense of life or surprise. It’s like they based the rhythm off a kid pounding uniformly on a pan. There’s no variation. No peak.
Rapper Jace’s verses bring a little excitement to the proceedings, but ultimately the group is completely limited by the song itself. For a track with the title Don’t Speak Without Soul, it feels ironically soulless. A baffling comeback, for sure.