After what’s seemed like endless delays, DIA is finally back with their first album in ten months. And for title track WooWoo, they’ve paired once again with established producer Shinsadong Tiger, who’s already brought Momoland massive 2018 success by returning to a bright, synth-infused dancefloor template. In contrast, WooWoo slows things down with heavy influence from the popular Miami bass genre.
I’m all for groups introducing new sounds to K-pop’s ever-evolving collage, but I’m not sure importing directly from the States is the best idea at the moment. Miami bass’s 80’s and 90’s origins included a healthy dose of funk that would have been welcome in WooWoo’s largely lethargic palette. But as America continues its love affair with downbeat hip-hop and trap, current iterations of trends only seem to water down K-pop’s infectious appeal.
WooWoo still gets by on its breezy, summertime rush, but at this point DIA really need a shot of energy to break from what is becoming an increasingly forgettable discography. The girls are clearly up to the task, as their attractive harmonies attest to here, but WooWoo is lacking the kind of surefire hook I was hoping for. In its place is a perfectly fine chorus that coasts along without ever delivering the kind of sucker punch we’re used to from Shinsadong Tiger. The descending synth riff adds a nice bit of interest, and the swirling melody quickly becomes hypnotic even if it struggles to pull you in. But like a hot summer afternoon, the innocuousness of it all might find some listeners nodding off.