It’s been nearly a year and a half since B1A4 made a comeback in Korea, and the wait has felt like forever. They’re one of the few idol groups who truly have a sound all their own, and even though leader/composer Jinyoung has found much success this year producing for girl groups, there’s nothing that can quite replace a B1A4 single.
Luckily, new track A Lie (거짓말이야) is pure B1A4, through and through. It’s another Jinyoung production (he’s produced nearly all their title tracks), and his fingerprints are all over the melody and instrumental. It’s also a strange beast, existing in a gray area between ballad and dance. Though always anchored by an indelible pop hook, the group has often experimented with genre and song structure. A Lie feels like both a culmination and realization of these various shifts. The song begins in sweeping style, slowly building to a driving electronic beat even as the melody remains somber and soft. But once the chorus hits, the beat slows to an anthemic stomp and a lush bed of instrumentation is brought in, recalling previous single Lonely. The second verse reverts back to a club-ready tempo as rapper Baro takes the lead for an effective, extended segment.
It’s during the bridge that the song truly begins to build to something special. As strings swirl around the guys’ powerful vocals, a dramatic melody ushers in the final, gorgeous key change. The climax hits with astounding cinematic power. I only wish it lasted a bit longer. The song feels about thirty seconds too short, rushing through its best moments instead of relishing in them. But even so, A Lie features some of the best production we’ve heard all year. It’s dense and detailed and, defying all odds, fits beautifully together through all the tempo changes and stylistic turns. It’s clear that B1A4 has fully embraced their unique sound, re-positioning them as one of k-pop’s most exciting and vital acts.