Now that Pledis Entertainment has hit big with Seventeen and revitalized their standing as a k-pop powerhouse, the agency is banking on the same successful trajectory for its new girl group, Pristin. Things certainly seem promising. Among Pristin’s ranks are several girls from the mega-successful Produce 101 series, including Pinky and Nayoung who actually debuted with last year’s I.O.I. Their 2016 pre-release, We, was a fantastic piece of pop music composed by the members themselves. And prior to their first mini album, the girls teased fans with impressive dance cover videos. The hype was definitely there. So, does Wee Woo measure up?
Mostly. And that’s probably enough to cement them as another power rookie group for Pledis. Co-composed with frequent Seventeen-collaborator Bumzu, Wee Woo borrows pieces from current girl group trends rather than reinvent the wheel. With all the expectations placed on Pristin, I could see how this slapdash approach could come across as disappointing. But despite its novelty, the song still packs a punch.
Wee Woo‘s most endearing element is its disco-influenced instrumental. Riding on a persistent rhythm guitar riff, the production is bright, breezy and fresh in the same way Seventeen’s Adore U seemed to burst out of nowhere back in 2015. Though the girls’ performance often veers toward the cute, the track couches those elements in a classic pop package. This sense of unbridled energy is where Wee Woo really shines. The central hook is surprisingly brief, but ridiculously catchy, and the repeated “wee woo” refrain stops just short of being an annoying gimmick. The cloying pre-chorus doesn’t quite hit, reducing the girls to second-rate Twice clones when they’re far more interesting than that. There’s also a little too much cooing and posturing throughout, but every time the track threatens to derail, that punchy pop force revives it. While not a perfect debut, the future still seems very bright for Pristin.