As SM Entertainment’s most established solo artist, BoA has earned the right to release what she wants, when she wants. 2018 may have been underwhelming in many ways, but it gave us two BoA comebacks (with three promoted songs in Korea!), helping to cement her reign as the queen of K-pop. Comparatively, new self-penned single Feedback feels a bit like an afterthought – pleasant and poppy but hardly groundbreaking.
Feedback is the sound of BoA coasting – a right that her illustrious career has handily earned. Her always-impressive vocals are a boon to material like this. As an artist most closely associated with dance, she brings a slick sense of rhythm to even the most simple of pop tracks. In this regard, Feedback gives her plenty to play with. Its bright, retro instrumental is a collage of drum machines, rhythm guitar and bubbly synths. It’s perfectly calibrated to the upcoming summer months, even if it may not present the kind of iconic touches that characterize the best of her work.
Similarly, Feedback‘s melodies feel recycled from any number of straightforward dance tracks. There’s a familiarity to the structure, at once refreshing and underwhelming. The former outweighs the latter thanks to BoA’s unapologetic commitment to a good time. Even separated from its visual, her performance exudes a carefree smile. In this way, the song actually reminds me of Janet Jackson’s effortlessly joyous 2001 hit, All For You — though the hooks here aren’t nearly as strong. A guest feature from rapper Nucksal adds a nice sense of contrast to Feedback‘s endless buoyancy. It’s not gritty enough to take the track to another level, but I don’t think this was ever meant to be a statement-making comeback.