We don’t usually associate variety shows with grade-A k-pop releases, but Sister’s Slam Dunk surprised by providing one of May’s best singles with Unnies’ Right. And now it’s time for another similarly-pitched series to deliver. Idol Drama Operation Team may be a show centered around creating a Korean drama, but its cast is full of girl group members and solo performers. No matter the premise, we were bound to get a song or two eventually. Luckily, the girls have been given the perfect collaborator in B1A4‘s Jinyoung, who produced Deep Blue Eyes.
I’ve gone on record more than once about what an amazing, underrated composer Jinyoung is. He’s crafted nearly every one of B1A4’s singles, and lately he’s found a niche working with girl groups. Deep Blue Eyes is yet another display of his brilliant pop instincts, taking some familiar sounds but executing them with panache and presence. The instrumental kicks off with a now cliché collection of sounds. But those ubiquitous tropical house synth squiggles bounce off a percolating electro beat that provides a robust backing for the atmospheric verses. As we move into the first half of the pre-chorus, the instrumental drops out, using empty space to ear-catching effect. The sets up an unrelenting round of percussion, which provides a rousing moment of contrast before we hit the the breezy chorus.
Though the members of Girls Next Door were cobbled together from different corners of the idol world, they function well as a unit. I’m not sure that we needed two rap breaks, but at least D.ana and Moonbyul have diverse enough tones to make each segment interesting. None of the vocalists stand out all that much on their own, which actually works to the song’s benefit. Their voices blend beautifully, especially during the song’s soaring climax. It’s enough to make you wish Girls Next Door (ft. Jinyoung’s production) was a permanent group.