Though his band CNBLUE has released more than their fair share of great music, the format of a pop/rock group has always seemed to limit Jung Yonghwa’s innate sense of showmanship. The guy knows how to command a stage and pull the audience right into a song. His first solo album in 2015 spawned a very successful ballad in One Fine Day, but this time around he’s decided to harness that charm and charisma into something more fun and summer oriented.
There are many things about That Girl (여자여자해) that should work — at least on paper. In practice, the song is more of a mess than I would have expected. Pairing Yonghwa with rapper Loco was a smart idea, but the song’s rap verses are not integrated well into the arrangement. The first time Loco jumps in is one of the most jarring instrumental shifts we’ve heard all year, transforming from light pop/rock to bass-heavy trap without any attempt to blend the two together. This happens again later in the song and feels just as out of place, even as Yonghwa counters with a sort of faux hip-hop delivery.
That Girl‘s repetitive chorus is certainly catchy, but I fear that it won’t age well at all. The melody seems a little too on the nose, like a jingle that would soundtrack a commercial rather than a pop song. Towards the end of That Girl, a secondary hook emerges and takes a more crowd-engaging approach that better integrates the instrumental’s hints at a bluesy stomp. Unfortunately, it’s too little, too late and doesn’t go far enough in remedying the song’s cornier moments.