Girl group AOA have quickly risen to the top of the kpop world, due largely to the amazing material producer Brave Brothers has given them. Good Luck marks a turning point, with a shift in both sound and songwriting team. And while the song more or less maintains AOA’s quality musical output, I can’t help but wish for a return to the dense pop compositions they’ve given us over the past few years.
I don’t think anyone would ever question Good Luck‘s catchiness. The chant-like hook explodes right from the beginning and is repeated often. It’s the kind of chorus that doesn’t require multiple listens to stick, which is great in the short term, but more problematic as the song ages. The overused sax sample and trap elements certainly don’t help. Instead of pushing forward, this particular arrangement feels stuck in a rut — following trends rather than setting them. It’s all too obvious, especially for the group that gave us the amazingly dynamic Heart Attack last year. The song’s strongest elements are its bridges, which set up a nice build that really seems as if it’s heading somewhere exciting. Unfortunately, this energy is wasted as we segue back into that catchy, but ultimately leaden chorus.
This makes Good Luck hard to place. It’s billed as a dance track, but I can’t really imagine dancing to it. Like A Cat had a similarly midtempo bounce, but was continually buoyed by its rousing post-chorus ad lib. Good Luck is in need of that extra bit of oomph. It all feels too surface. Yes, it’s a crisply produced and performed pop song. It’s fun and feelgood and will leave you humming. But there’s nothing to grip onto after the hooks wear away. It actually feels more like an AOA Cream release than the official comeback for the entire group. AOA remains one of my favorite girl groups, and I’m usually one to encourage experimentation with sound, but part of me is really hoping that they’ll go back to the Brave Brothers well for their next release.