It’s been over six months since we’ve heard from (G)I-DLE as a group, but leader Soyeon has been a constant presence in K-pop since then. She featured in a special SM Entertainment project group last September and co-composed last month’s memorable No for fellow Cube Entertainment act CLC. I expect her star power to grow even larger in 2019, and that will undoubtedly keep (G)I-DLE in the news. I only hope that the quality of their music keeps up the pace.
New single Senorita is solid, but feels like the least exciting title track the group has released. If we were talking only about the song’s first thirty seconds, I’d likely be more enthused. It’s rare to hear a K-pop track tackle tango, but Senorita’s opening verse bounds along this uncommon time signature. As other musical elements join the fray, the song moves closer to current trends and begins to lose some of its unique spark. The DNA is here. It’s just not built upon in the way I would have wished.
I’m less enthused about Senorita‘s chorus, which is too throwaway for its own good. The melody never really goes anywhere, and the post-chorus male vocal sounds more like a catcall than the self-empowered refrain it could have been. Senorita’s second verse collapses into a forgettable (and all-too garbled) rap break that does little to keep the song’s momentum. Things don’t catch fire again until the extended, wordless hook that takes us to the finish line. But even here, it feels like the track is building to one last chorus. Instead, Senorita ends abruptly, leaving a jumble of contrasting impressions in its wake. I appreciate that the girls are trying something different here, but they’ve delivered stronger work in the past.
On the one hand, I expected a lot more of a straightforward Latin pop attempt, so Senorita is a pleasant surprise. I truly expected this to be awful when I saw the title, but I think that brass riff is really cool, playing off some unexpected intervals – and I don’t mind the chorus melody at all. I just… the verses are too meandering for their own good, and I don’t really understand the extended bridge as an ending. It feels like they were trying “the YG ending”, but then they forgot to build to anything? Maybe if they had layered the brass riff under all the “fu-fu-fu,” the arrangement would have looped back around more sensibly.
On the other hand, I officially expect good work out of Soyeon at this point. I couldn’t bring myself to like “Latata” at all, so I was all but ready to write Soyeon off as a songwriter – especially after that travesty in “Hann” where the main chorus melody ENDS ON A WEAK HARMONY AND THEN NEVER RESOLVES. Then, against all odds, she co-writes “No” by CLC, which is flat-out a great song for so many reasons. Now that I know that Soyeon was secretly good at composing this whole time, I want good songs from G-Idle. It’s like the equivalent of Brave Brothers never making good songs for Brave Girls or E-Tribe refusing to write well for Dal Shabet. Now it’s like, “come on now Soyeon, we know you’re better than this.”
P.S. As a Spanish speaker, I don’t really understand why Cube Ent is so useless that they can’t type ALT+164 and spell “Señorita” correctly. If you’re going to make me listen to Latin pop, at least spell your words properly.
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Senorita’s fine. It’s just kind of *there* for me. Nothing to write home about. As you pointed out, No is definitely stronger and way more interesting.
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