Groups with numbers as part of their name can be tricky in the ever-changing world of k-pop. Nine Muses haven’t had nine members in some time, and now they’re all the way down to four. That’s not exactly “truth in advertising.” But with so many groups of their age disbanding, it’s a small miracle that their brand has survived all the way since their debut in 2010. What’s even more impressive is that their music has remained consistently solid throughout those years. New single Remember (기억해) is no different, taking the girls in a dark, dramatic direction while retaining the strong, glossy pop hooks that built their sound.
In many ways, Remember feels more like a performance piece than a pop song. Its constantly changing tempo and structure give it a grandiose, theatrical feel that we don’t hear often from girl group material. From the beginning, the verse’s slow build beguiles with its haunting guitar and minimalist production. Things quickly shift from there, ascending toward an enormous pre-chorus that sneaks up on you in the most satisfying way. This brings us into Remember‘s best and biggest moment — that pounding, megawatt chorus. It’s like a darker shade of their epic Hurt Locker from 2015, soaring on a confident performance of extended notes and sweeping synths.
This propulsive segment almost overpowers the song’s quieter moments, but there’s enough mystery within the eerie verses to draw attention. The only misstep occurs during the second verse rap break. Gone for a moment are the atmospheric instrumental elements, replaced with a simplistic beat and electric guitar. It’s not enough to completely pull the energy down, but it does feel like a brief interlude that breaks the song’s flow rather than build on it. Still, this is a small complaint for an otherwise terrific release.