More than any other year, 2016 has seen SM put a major focus on solo releases from members of their most popular groups. After Taeyeon’s incredibly success late last year, it only made sense that another member of Girls’ Generation would venture out on her own. This time it’s American-born Tiffany, with a song that sounds very much like it could have been released in the States.
I Just Wanna Dance takes the 80’s retro trend and gives it some Ariana Grande/Carly Rae Jepsen pop sparkle. That is, it functions as a modern update rather than a total throwback. Still, I can’t help but think it would have been better served indulging in its cheesier influences rather than smoothing over them. While the general sound is certainly upbeat, it feels as if it’s missing some big instrumental moments. Rather than the laidback beat we’re given, I wish the track employed a more prominent synth line. That extra hook could have given I Just Wanna Dance a more dynamic feel. As it stands, the song has a fine groove, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. Yes, you can dance to it, but it doesn’t grab you by the collar and force you to move.
That being said, it’s still a strong pop song. The addition of its 90’s r&b influences give Tiffany a chance to show off some effective vocal runs and ad libs. It reminds me of BoA’s material from last year — more about a general vibe than big pop moments. If this is the primary goal, than it definitely succeeds. The simple refrain gives it a breezy, effortless catchiness. It’s cool, but missing that little bit of extra, ebullient pop joy that would have pushed it over the edge.