Newly debuted rookies O21 (O To One) have already received some attention for taking an edgier approach when most of their peers are sticking with an innocent sound. This was enough to catch my attention, but only a good song would maintain that interest. With Show Me, I feel myself drifting somewhere in between curious and disinterested.
I appreciate the musical direction, for sure. We need more diversity in k-pop, particularly when it comes to girl groups. But, Show Me isn’t strong enough to carve out an identity beyond “slightly badass.” To be clear, it’s not the fault of the girls themselves. The performance is completely solid, from the vocals to the rap. Instead, the issue lies with the song itself. It’s simply devoid of any lasting hook. It’s like they threw all the necessary ingredients into a blender — 2NE1 swagger here, played-out brass sample there — but forgot about the actual melody. What we get instead are copy-and-paste verses, bridges and a chorus that we’ve already heard in some form or another. The central refrain feels deflated and lazy, never giving a chance for the girls to do anything but slavishly follow a template.
This would be forgivable if the production made up for the lack of catchiness. After all, songs like this rely more on their beat and instrumentation than the cutesy/innocent concepts, which tend to be melody-based. But Show Me brings nothing new to the table. There are some weak builds here and there, but they don’t result in anything dynamic or interesting. The song simply glides along without making an impact. It’s a common shortcoming of rookie groups that are working on a tight budget, so I hope O21 return with something more memorable next time.