I missed talking about CoCoSoRi’s debut back in January, though it’s probably for the best since it didn’t really leave much of a mark on me. I applaud the duo’s desire to take the quirkier girl group route favored by acts like Orange Caramel and Crayon Pop, especially since there isn’t a lot of it on the market right now, but Exquisite‘s end result feels a little undercooked.
There’s a sense of intelligent subversion behind the best of Orange Caramel’s work, and it helps to soften the edges of their hyper pop output. CoCoSoRi are a younger group, and Exquisite feels less thought-out as a result. The track, along with its accompanying video, borrows much from jpop, but it’s all the obvious hallmarks. From the cats, to the faux Babymetal rock (the song’s low point), to the anime outfits, it plays as an imitation instead of the reinvention it could (and should) be.
It would help, of course, if the song was a bit more palatable. Instead, it’s on speed throughout, more concerned with its own quirkiness than interesting production elements or enduring melodies. There’s a way to successfully, and artfully, produce this brand of music. Just check out the fantastic Catallena or Bar Bar Bar for examples of quirk that are tethered to full-bodied, well-constructed pop songs. Exquisite certainly has an anything-goes energy, but as scattershot as it is, it still doesn’t present any real surprises. CoCoSoRi feel like they have something interesting to bring to kpop. I’m just not sure they’ve figured it out yet.