As part of their multi-pronged comeback under YG Entertainment, late 90’s veteran group Sechs Kies has released an entire album of reworked and re-recorded versions of their hits. It’s a novel approach, catering to both nostalgia and current trends, but its level of satisfaction is entirely dependent on the creativity and willingness to experiment behind each song’s revision. Simply updating a classic track may yield a bit of novelty for some listeners, but a classic is a classic for a reason. That original recording will always be the definitive version.
Such is the case with the update of Couple, which is arguably the group’s most enduring hit. The song has regained a high level of prominence as the group has moved forward with their reunion, so it makes sense to use it as the album’s title track. But personally, I think it was the wrong move. Couple is a song that’s filled with nostalgia, and nothing about its classic, simple melody was begging for a remix. It’s really not a remix-friendly song in the first place, as it rides more on sentiment and tunefulness than heavy production. To warrant a remake, the arrangement would have needed to take some drastic turns. Instead, this 2016 version ups the tempo a bit, adds a touch of ultra-trendy tropical house flair, and shoehorns in a forgettable rap verse.
Nothing about the reworking feels unpleasant or distasteful, but none of it feels necessary either. The song is just too familiar in its original form. It remains warm and inviting in this new recording, but does it feel remotely exciting? Does it feel like Sechs Kies reaching into the future and proving that they’re still a force to be reckoned with nineteen years after their debut? No, not really. 2016’s Couple may be fun for a few spins, but soon enough, I think most of us will be back to that original track that made so many fans fall for the group in the first place.