Only a few weeks after their comeback as a four-member group, Nine Muses have returned with a single that flips the dark, evocative sound of Remember into a brighter dance pop concoction. Throughout the years, the girls have proven themselves capable of delivering high quality material regardless of style or group configuration. Love City (러브시티) is no different, even if it doesn’t quite reach the heights of their best work.
The song opens with its catchiest element — a sleek, spoken refrain that blends chic cosmopolitan pop with a style straight off the runway of a fashion show. This hook instantly gives Love City a unique sound. It’s just a shame that the rest of the track opts for more standard k-pop production. The verses feel like a callback to the groups’ excellent Hurt Locker from 2015, with their resounding electro crunch. The sound isn’t quite as potent this time around, but still works to the girls’ strengths.
Better is Love City‘s slamming chorus, which sacrifices a more melodic approach for its aggressive pop stomp. It’s certainly not the catchiest thing Nine Muses have given us, but I like that it doesn’t surrender to trends. Instead, it feels like a well-constructed bit of glitzy dance pop — the kind that sounds a little dated but always welcome. And in some ways, that sentiment really defines the group as a whole. For better or worse, it feels like they’ve given up trying to be the next “nation’s girl group” and focused on churning out the type of material they do best. Love City is another solid, if slightly throwaway effort.