So, the million dollar question is: what is a De-aeseohsta? Yes, it’s a Romanization of the Korean title (디에세오스타) of Honey Popcorn’s new single, but that doesn’t shed much light on the meaning. From what I can tell, it’s a word (phrase?) that doesn’t naturally translate to English. So… I’ve got nothing.
Yes, I just spent the entire first paragraph of this review talking about the song’s title, because honestly there’s not a lot to discuss when it comes to the music itself. Honey Popcorn’s 2018 debut struggled to establish any sort of identity for itself beyond pleasant background music, and De-aeseohsta pretty much follows suit. The track is stronger than its predecessor, but so beige that it’s difficult to recall once it’s finished playing.
On the plus side, De-aeseohsta boasts a refined energy that feels welcome in this age of hyper-quirky pop. In this way, it sounds like something 2014-era Apink might record if they were hard up for material. The instrumental pairs spirited synths with a pleasant percussive shuffle to create a slightly hazy, laid-back atmosphere. The girls’ vocals are suitably airy, if devoid of any unique personality. The song’s chorus has a nice early-GFriend vibe, perfect for an enjoyable b-side but unable to draw much attention on its own. Kudos to the girls for not slavishly following trends, but they could definitely use an injection of musical ambition if they want to stand out among the crowded field of K-pop rookies. So far, K-pop is giving us a bummer summer, and De-aeseohsta is another ho-hum comeback to add to the pile.