Girl group S.I.S debuted over a year ago with the underrated I’ve Got A Feeling, but quickly got sucked into the orbit of KBS’ idol rebooting show The Unit. I’m not sure how a newly debuted group would need “rebooting,” but it doesn’t seem like the show did much for the girls except delay their comeback. Thirteen months is a lifetime between releases, and it was going to take an absolute stunner of a song to reestablish S.I.S. Say Yes (응) is not that song.
Feeling’s chorus hinted at a robust sense of melody that helped S.I.S stand out among the cutesy crowd, but Say Yes scraps that for an insistent adherence to inconsequential lightness. The song passes by like a soft gust of wind, in one ear and out the other without leaving anything behind. The girls’ tones are pitched universally high, arranged more like a series of chirps than an actual vocal performance. Say Yes checks off every stereotype most people imagine when it comes to K-pop girl groups, and in a month that has seen a number of unconventional standouts from the female side of the industry, this feels like twenty steps backward.
But more than being derivative and downright obnoxious in places, I’m just not sure where Say Yes is supposed to be taking the group. It doesn’t hint at any unique identity, nor does it capitalize on the girls’ talents. In 2018, it’s not enough to settle for “fresh” or “cute.” These kind of concepts need to be supported by interesting songwriting. Say Yes seems destined to relegate S.I.S to permanent obscurity. Hopefully they can turn things around before that happens.