With over 2,600 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2012
JYP Entertainment has been killing it with their girl groups lately, but that’s always been a strong facet of the agency’s success. Wonder Girls and Miss A offered a steady stream of chart-conquering hits during the years when their discographies overlapped. But while Wonder Girls will likely go down as the more widely known of the two acts, Miss A’s singles run was no slouch. I Don’t Need A Man (남자없이 잘 살아) arrived right between two of their most accomplished works (Touch and Hush), and feels slightly less impactful because of that. Yet, its sharply chiseled hooks are among the most memorable moments in their entire catalog.
Like many of the group’s singles, Man was composed by agency-head Park Jinyoung. You can hear his beat-heavy, throwback sound all over the track. For a song that pre-dated K-pop’s obsession with trap by several years, many of today’s musical hallmarks are omnipresent throughout. Both the central synth loops and vocal melodies support the same insistent hook. This refrain has a playful, laid-back appeal that instantly works its way into your memory. To this day, I still go back and forth on whether the song’s incessant catchiness is addictive or obnoxious. It really skirts that line — almost dangerously at times. The girls’ airtight harmonies and effortless charisma help to reign in the song’s most cloying instincts, but compared with previous blockbusters like Bad Girl, Good Girl and Goodbye Baby, I Don’t Need A Man feels a little redundant.