The weeks leading up to the Chuseok holiday are notoriously barren for K-pop, so beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to new releases. This means that I end up writing about groups I’d normally skip. To be honest, I didn’t even know We Girls existed until about a week ago — and they debuted last year. Doing some research, it seems that the group was assembled with help from the crowdfunding platform Makestar, which would presumably give their fans a strong sense of ownership. Unfortunately, thus far their music has flown under the radar. New single Ride is solid, but I don’t think it’s going to give them the breakout they need.
Ride comes from the group’s second mini album, and feels behind the K-pop trend. It bounces on the kind of xylophone-esque tropical synth that is (hopefully) on its way out. Yet, as derivative as this sound is, the instrumental has a satisfying energy. When the tempo rises for the chorus, Ride conjures a surprisingly robust groove. It reminds me of something that might have been included in boy group ONF’s 2018 album You Complete Me.
Strangely, this instrumental hook isn’t complimented by much of an actual melody. The girls don’t even come in for a few bars, letting the production do the talking before joining the beat with a half-hearted, harmonized refrain. The end result isn’t nearly as forgettable as I’m making it sound, but I am surprised that their agency didn’t opt for an arrangement that might better display the group’s personality. Ride feels half-formed, but it has potential. That same sentence could be used for so many groups of We Girls’ standing. Sadly, most of these acts never get the opportunity to move beyond the “potential” stage of their career. Ride is brisk and enjoyable in the moment, yet I fear that it doesn’t provide the girls with the stepping stone necessary to evolve in this overstuffed market.
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