Weki Meki have been circling the girl crush concept since their debut last year, nailing the attitude but struggling to find songs that fully harnessed their talent. The group’s work has been declared “messy” by many listeners, but I don’t think that’s inherently a bad thing. As a fan of K-pop’s anything-goes past, I love when a track meshes disparate genres and structures. But, all of this chaos has to revolve around a strong melody to work, and that’s something that Weki Meki have struggled with thus far (at least when it comes to their title tracks). New single Crush streamlines things a bit, and marks a step forward — even if it still doesn’t feel like the blockbuster single the group should be releasing.
There are touches within the song that hint at brilliance, but Crush‘s spotty nature makes it hard to take advantage of its better instincts. The first verse gets us off on a good start, presenting a coherent, catchy structure over a slick beat that feels cribbed from various BLACKPINK songs. A few unexpected bursts of electric guitar add interest to the pre-chorus, though I wish they weren’t so hesitant. This could have easily been arranged as a full-on rock anthem, and would have been all the stronger for it.
Crush‘s propulsive chorus hearkens back to the synth-infused girl crush sounds of groups like 4minute and 2NE1. This is an approach I wholeheartedly approve of, though it doesn’t allow Weki Meki much opportunity to bring their own identity to the hook. Still, it’s kind of refreshing to hear such a straightforward, old-school style. If only that pesky trap beat didn’t come in and mess up a perfectly-fine second verse. Moments like this prove there are still some kinks to work out when it comes to the group’s sound.