Now that Double S 301 have gotten their big Korean and Japanese comebacks out of the way, they’re free to release something a little looser and a lot more fun. Ah Ha (아하) arrives on the 11th anniversary of their parent group, SS501, and thankfully is not some drippy ballad. In fact, it’s the best title track they’re released this year.
Ah Ha may not have the serious undertones that would make it feel like a big moment or statement, but that’s actually an asset, as it allows the guys to have a good time without the burden of crushing expectations. The song is built around its nimble, propulsive electro beat and chant-along hook, and sounds like it would be just as comfortable at a sports arena as it would a k-pop stage. The bright synths and high energy throw back to the simple dance tracks of the 90’s, but none of it sounds dated. Its greatest charm is its focused dedication to a party atmosphere. As such, its overall structure is unfussy and not trying to be anything more than it is — an undeniably enjoyable dance track.
For better or worse, Double S 301 have been placed in a “legacy artists” category, which limits the effect they can have on the current k-pop climate. I think the general consensus is that they’ve passed their peak and anything that comes now is just icing on the cake. But we forget that these guys aren’t even thirty years old yet, and they can certainly still compete with the younger idol groups. Perhaps the best thing I can say about Ah Ha is that it sounds as if it could have been recorded by a group ten years their junior. The fact that Double S 301 can make a song like this feel utterly refreshing and youthful proves their continued relevancy.
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