Just over two weeks ago, BoA pre-released single Nega Dola. I was a bit hesitant with the song, but it’s since grown on me quite a bit. That’s one of the frustrating things about end-of-the-month releases. I never really get to reflect their growth in my “top 3 k-pop songs of the month” round-ups. One Shot, Two Shot — the mini album’s official title track — may end up following a similar course. But for now, it’s nearly as frustrating as it is addictive.
Anyone who has been keeping up with BoA’s vlive documentary will already have a good idea of what One Shot sounds like. Maybe hearing the song’s hook played over and over again during dance rehearsals has colored my opinion, but the titular refrain that drives the chorus tends to grate after awhile. I wish the song didn’t lean so heavily on it, as the surrounding moments are much more effective. BoA has an amazing pop voice (one of the most iconic in all of k-pop), but this chirpy — almost taunting — refrain does her no favors.
One Shot opens with a languid verse before the tempo kicks into gear. What follows is an off-kilter electro track, borrowing liberally from deep house but blending this sub-genre with more modern dance elements to create a trendier hybrid. A slightly sinister atmosphere colors the song’s otherwise catchy melody, highlighted by a soundscape of creeping synths and electronic bass. Tying it all together is BoA’s unflagging charisma, which elevates even the song’s less hypnotic moments. There’s a sleek coolness to the track, but it’s missing the kind of dynamic showmanship that highlighted last year’s superior Camo, or the killer energy that made Japanese b-side Mannish Chocolat such a surprising standout.