Less than a year into their debut, girl group Weki Meki have quickly become lodged in a frustrating dilemma: their album tracks are consistently superior to the songs they’re given to promote. This pattern began with August’s noisy I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend, which came across as nearly atonal compared to the five tracks that followed it. And unfortunately, new single La La La is also markedly weaker than its b-sides.
To be clear, La La La feels completely different from its predecessor. It doesn’t come anywhere close to being the WTF musical hodgepodge Girlfriend was, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I could respect Girlfriend‘s off-the-wall ambition, even if it didn’t add up to anything spectacular. In contrast, La La La‘s brass-driven attack feels all too familiar. Weki Meki have thus far been sold as a “girl crush” act (or “teen crush,” as their agency puts it). And if you were to define that concept in terms of music, La La La is pretty much what you’d expect. The bratty rapping, the synth sirens and the pop-stomp beat are all in their rightful places.
The problem is, these familiar elements are never anchored by an actual song. The instrumental — with its funk guitar and aggressive percussive — manages to squeeze out a bit of intrigue, particularly during the clap-along second verse. The girls seem game for the genre, avoiding the intense infantilization that can sometimes mar songs like this. But there is no melodic heft to be found. Instead, La La La feels cobbled together from disconnected moments of posturing. Like its generic title, the spark of creativity seems to be missing. Just do yourself a favor and listen to album track Iron Boy instead.