I wasn’t too kind with BVNDIT’s debut single Hocus Pocus, but it wasn’t because it was an objectively bad song. It just felt devoid of any unique point — like musical wallpaper that blended with every other like-minded, tropical-pop offering of the past few years. Luckily, BVNDIT have made a very quick turnaround with their follow-up, releasing Dramatic (드라마틱) only five weeks after their debut. The song doesn’t make markedly different strides from its predecessor, but its overall appeal is slightly stronger.
Dramatic doesn’t match its title. There’s little theatricality to be found, at least if you’ve been following K-pop trends since 2016. We’ve all heard this kind of vaguely tropical, instrumental-drop-as-chorus structure so many times, and there’s little to be wrung from its charms this late in the game. As a follow-up, it’s a sonic sequel to Hocus Pocus, and still doesn’t do much to set BVNDIT apart from their many peers. However, the girls pull off the style with polish.
This feels like the song I expected (G)I-DLE to return with after the success of last spring’s Latata. It’s very 2017/18, which is a shame. I hate to see rookie groups begin their career by hitching onto a trend that’s on its way out. But, Dramatic has the same verve that made Latata such a hit. Its rap verses (and ad-libs) are especially charismatic, sprinkled judiciously over much of the song’s running time. The instrumental drop is a bit ho-hum, but we’ve definitely heard worse. Even so, I’m gonna need BVNDIT to make an unexpected, impactful move with their next single. There are simply too many strong rookies this year for stylistically safe material like this to stand out.