The year of debuts rolls on with the first new girl group of 2019. Cherry Bullet hails from FNC Entertainment, home to AOA. Perhaps inspired by their seniors, the girls have been teasing a video game concept similar to last year’s Bingle Bangle. And true to form, Q&A feels like Bingle Bangle with more bite. With ten members, the song doesn’t give anyone a chance to stand out on their own, but it does offer a fun blast of uptempo dance pop that bodes well for their future.
“Girl crush” has been a huge keyword over the past few years. Cherry Bullet don’t quite hit that stereotype, and steer just close enough to the middle to dodge the “cutesy” label as well. Their sound may be criticized by some as being too safe or indefinable, but I think this actually positions them well. It also reminds me of a simpler time in K-pop, where groups didn’t have to fit into an easily characterized label. Instead of worrying too much about embracing trends, Q&A paints its energetic style with broad brushstrokes, anchored by a series of catchy refrains and a bright, synth-infused bounce that hints at a more retro-inspired sound.
Right from the start, I was impressed by Q&A’s rubbery electro beat. It incorporates elements of funk and disco, giving the instrumental plenty of drive. The verses are tautly structured, moving from a more percussive delivery to moments of soaring melody. The drumline-esque pre-chorus chant is also fun, recalling After School’s immortal Bang. After such an exciting set-up, the chorus falls a bit flat. It’s still a ton of fun — and underlined by a delightfully sunny instrumental — but I hoped for a bigger melody. Maybe we’ll get that next time. For now, this is another impressive debut to add to 2019’s already stacked line-up.