Block B has maintained a certain level of success (especially as soloists) over the past two years, but it feels like their group work has lost some of its momentum ever since their nearly two-year hiatus after 2014’s H.E.R. February’s boisterous Yesterday seemed to herald a return to form, and Shall We Dance‘s very title hints at the kind of quirky banger the guys used to supply on the regular.
Shall We Dance is indeed quirky, built around a slinky strings riff that manages to sound funky and sinister at the same time. Yet somehow the energy of classics like Nillili Mambo and NalinA is missing. I attribute this to the song’s chorus, which rests almost entirely on that aforementioned instrumental riff. Even P.O.’s gruff, commanding tone isn’t enough to add interest to the repetitive “shall we dance?” exclamation that forms the main hook. Like many 2017 comebacks before it, there’s an absolute vacuum at the center of the song.
This is a shame, because there are many interesting pieces surrounding this black hole of a hook (and I’m not just talking about the group’s atrocious styling in the music video). Zico and Kyung are reliably charismatic during their playful verses, and the touches of falsetto from the vocal line add an interesting, almost improvisational vibe. The song’s bridge is more fleshed out than the actual chorus, and hints at Dance‘s potential that unfortunately remains unrealized. In short, the track succeeds on mood and sentiment, but is almost skeletal when it comes to substance. It feels dangerously close to coasting, and that’s not where Block B should be at this stage in their career.