The last time we heard from k-pop royalty BoA, it was as part of another SM Station track. One-off singles are all well and good, but it’s surprising that SM hasn’t given one of their most iconic artists a proper comeback since 2015. With the second season of Produce 101 currently reminding viewers what a warm and engaging personality BoA is, it seems like the perfect time for a new album. Instead, we get Spring Rain (봄비), which is perfectly enjoyable if somewhat understated.
The song is pitched as an r&b track, though BoA’s iconic voice roots things firmly within the pop realm. Its classic hip-hop beat shuffles with a mix of snare and atmospheric synths. This instrumental paints a moody backdrop that makes Spring Rain an odd choice for this time of year. It’s also an odd choice for BoA, who is much more well-known for her dance tracks and Japanese ballads. Even though the song may fall (somewhat) outside her wheelhouse, her vocals are exquisite throughout. There are a few showy moments towards the end, but most of the track is devoted to a circuitous sort of delivery that allows for subtle shifts in emotion and cadence. This low-key approach doesn’t come across as particularly captivating the first time through, but gives Spring Rain plenty of replay value.
With that said, this is a prime example of a song that never shouts to be noticed. As such, it’s not something I’d seek out often. Instead, Spring Rain becomes that welcome surprise hidden within a playlist. It may not stand out, but it’s never unwanted or unappreciated. In some ways, that sentiment also feels like what SM is trying to do to BoA herself. Even though Spring Rain is impressive in its own way, she deserves another iconic moment.