I try to keep the focus of my reviews on the songs themselves, but I have to start out by noting that the music video for Cosmic Girls’ new single, Secret (비밀이야), is stunning. Really, it’s one of the most stylish music videos of the entire year. It’s an enormous leap up for the girls in terms of visuals, but what about the actual song?
Well, it’s hard to say anything objectively bad about Secret. But at the same time, it’s hard to say much at all. The track’s sleek electro beat feels like a definite upgrade from their February debut, but the melody itself frustratingly lacks impact. If we were to reimagine successful 2016 girl group songs as line graphs, a track like Navillera or Cheer Up would look pretty diverse, with various spikes and valleys all over the place. Secret, on the other hand, would be closer to a straight line. The melody plays it cool throughout, rarely straying from its admittedly addictive bounce. In overall sound, the song reminds me a bit of Lovelyz’ Destiny from earlier in the year, though its symphonic, 70’s influences are more subdued. The hook does stick after a few listens, but it’s certainly not what I would call instant.
Even so, I’m happy to see Cosmic Girls venture down this more mature route. Though it doesn’t draw much attention to itself, Secret also sets them apart from the large crop of cutesy girl groups we’ve seen of late. They maintain their spacey synth sound from MoMoMo, but it’s better woven throughout the entire track this time around. My biggest problem is that, while solid, Secret is just not quite worthy of its incredible visuals. Once Cosmic Girls nail it on every front, I have a feeling that they could be unstoppable.