Girl group DIA has been sampling the party platter of k-pop tropes, switching from one concept to another in their bid to find something that will stick. Trying on GFriend’s style back in June didn’t quite work, so with Mr. Potter (미스터포터) they’ve conjured up a track that recalls Red Velvet in their Ice Cream Cake days.
Now, k-pop routinely cannibalizes itself. I’m not about to cry “plagiarism,” or even complain that DIA lack a discernible musical identity of their own. Because honestly, the only thing that actually matters is the quality of the song. Mr. Potter is not a perfect comeback, but it feels like DIA are beginning to move in the right direction. In fact, before we hit the ho-hum chorus, the song is pretty darn great. The beat hits harder than expected from the beginning, giving the girls something to work with as they coo through the sing-songy verse. The bridge is equally as strong, building steam until it feels like we’re about to be hit with something extraordinary.
This is where the song lacks punch. The chorus is fine, but it’s also melodically lazy and kills much of the energy the girls manage to establish. It lacks any sense of dynamism, sticking instead with an oddly morose melodic line that’s repeated without any invention or adornment. This is supposed to be a song inspired by Harry Potter, but all the magic exists in the space surrounding what is meant to be the song’s centerpiece. It’s frustrating, because DIA are getting closer to find a song that truly establishes them as a group to keep an eye on, but there are still elements of their output that remain undeniably mediocre.