You’ve got to feel for a group like Tahiti. They’ve been around since 2012, released seven singles, and yet still remain an almost unrecognizable presence in the kpop world. Their songs come out, they’re performed on music shows, and the girls return to relative obscurity without the momentum they so desperately need. It’s a vicious cycle shared by many other groups from smaller, less powerful agencies. It must be incredibly frustrating, and makes me want to root for them, but that can be hard at times because those same financial and systematic limitations prevent them from working with songwriters that could give them memorable material.
This handicap can be heard in The Secret (알쏭달쏭), though against all odds, the song turns out to be pretty enjoyable. Its distinctly kpop club beat and propulsive melody sounds like a less-complex Brave Brothers production, and in a year where we haven’t heard much from Brave Brothers, that similarity is actually a comfort. While The Secret doesn’t bring anything new to the table, its unflagging energy helps build a case for Tahiti’s continued existence. In some ways, it’s the kind of song I was hoping to hear from AOA, but the track’s reliance on tried and true kpop tropes is likely the reason many established groups are moving away from this sound.
The Secret could do with a clobbering hook here and there. The melody floats by without many memorable moments, though the wordless post-chorus wraps things up nicely. I wish it would have broken from its regimented structure, offering a soaring note or two. As it stands, the track is basically a flat line without much variation. That would be horribly detrimental if it wasn’t for the beat, which absolutely carries the song. It likely won’t be enough to change Tahiti’s standing within k-pop, but that shouldn’t stop listeners from enjoying it.