DIA have fallen into a classic rookie group trap, releasing comeback tracks of so many different genres and concepts that it often feels like the girls are trying on a series of outfits rather than finding one style that actually fits. It doesn’t help that the group has also been in constant flux, gaining and losing members far too often. With all this constant change threatening the stability of their growing fan base, what the girls really need is a big, ubiquitous hit. Can’t Stop sees them moving in that direction, even if its influences are too obvious to give it a strong identity of its own.
While many might be taken in by Can’t Stop‘s bright, lightweight catchiness, I don’t think anyone would call it groundbreaking. Start with a generous portion of Apink and GFriend, mix in the cuter elements of groups like Oh My Girl and Lovelyz, and you basically have Can’t Stop in a nutshell. It adheres so slavishly to a certain girl group format that it’s almost hard to recall after the first listen. Luckily, the track is given an insanely addictive chorus that helps it stand out from the pack. As with the rest of the song, this melody isn’t anything we haven’t heard before, but its couched in such a warm, pleasant blend of strings and buoyant pop beats that it really doesn’t matter.
I just wish the verses were as convincing. The pre-chorus supplies a nice build, GFriend-style, but the ebb and flow of energy never quite builds to anything noteworthy. Many of the instrumental’s flourishes show great promise, which only compounds this frustration. The sprinkles of retro synth throughout point at a wonderfully retro 80’s approach that could have been very exciting. Ditto for the extended electric guitar at the song’s climax. Can’t Stop could have used much more of this robust, ear-catching style.