It’s hard to overstate the influence and importance of first generation girl group S.E.S on modern k-pop. Not only were they SM Entertainment‘s first girl group, but they were one of the first girl groups in the entire genre. Their massive popularity in the late 90’s and early 00’s paved the way for countless followers. And now, after over thirteen years away from SM, they’re joining the ranks of other first gen groups by making a comeback.
Of the two title tracks they’ve scheduled to release, Remember‘s teaser seemed the least interesting — a standard, sentimental ballad suitable for a group that’s not really looking to go edgy. Upon hearing the full track, that’s exactly what the song is giving. To be fair, S.E.S have always had a tremendously light pop sound, and Remember fits well within their discography. Its production is the highlight, adding an effective blend of piano and surprisingly robust percussion to the mix. This does a nice job driving the song and making it feel more majestic and momentous than the slight melody would otherwise suggest. I love the build in the chorus, where the instrumentation really crashes into a steady back beat. It’s just as shame that the melodic hook is so tame in comparison.
Remember is effectively a pre-release, and as such does a smart job of updating the group’s late 90’s style for modern tastes. Though it’s not the kind of song that does much to differentiate itself from similar reunion-type ballads, it feels like the introduction to a successful comeback, sweeping in with the requisite emotional bombast before the ladies (hopefully) hit us with something more interesting and edgy.