Naming your debut song Macarena certainly sets up some very specific expectations, and most of them aren’t that great. Never in my life have I felt the need for a kpop cover of the infamous Macarena song, so I’m thankful that this track sounds nothing like it, even though the choreography incorporates its most iconic dance move.
Instead, this Macarena is sugary sweet and filled to the brim with moments that are supposed to be cute. The thing is, “cuteness” is only one step removed from “cloying.” The quality of the song is what ultimately determines how far the concept goes in either direction. With its brassy, vaguely 60’s influences, the track starts out somewhat promising, only to devolve into a frantic mess. The chorus is catchy, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. While listening, I can’t get over the feeling that the girls are just shouting at me over and over again, trying to revive a party that was dead on arrival.
I realize this paints a grim image, and I don’t mean to be overly harsh or knock the girls’ talent. The vocals are fine and there’s definitely a certain energy to the whole production, but instead of feeling original or the least bit essential, Macarena plays like a hodgepodge of what was successful last year — some Red Velvet here, some EXID and Apink there — without any attempt at originality. This is a common issue with rookie groups, which is the reason I often give their first release a pass. So, consider the score below as representative of the song itself, and not the group’s potential.