Cosmic Girls’ Secret (their first single with I.O.I’s Yeonjung), was the type of pop song that sounded pleasant — if a bit benign — on first listen, but grew into something quite spectacular the longer it stayed around. Songs like these are especially hard to review after only a day or so of release, and Secret‘s relatively low rating was one of 2016’s biggest errors on my part.
New single I Wish (너에게 닿기를) feels as if it was painted with the same brushstroke. The song’s light-on-its-feet swing goes down easy on first listen, without any melodic segments that really climax or stand out. The question is, will the track pull a Secret and become a 2017 classic by year’s end? My gut says no, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a decent effort in its own right. And god knows I’ve been wrong before!
I Wish opens with a bright, plucky synth riff that pops up again during the chorus, though it’s buried within layers of added instrumentation (and an odd little touch of autotune). I kind of wish this wordless hook would have been utilized more prominently throughout. It gives the song a breezy 90’s vibe that compliments the simple, repetitive chorus. It also plays well with I Wish’s verses, which are driven by a gorgeous blend of keys and drum fills that take inspiration from the new jack swing sound. In a genre that has recently become obsessed with massive builds and drops, it’s refreshing to hear such a straightforward pop song that feels cohesive and ebullient throughout. It’s really hard to fault any piece of the puzzle, beyond the fact that the song seems to remain earthbound when it could do more to push itself into the stratosphere.