Most of the world’s music industries were built on song covers, launching artists with performances of what many would consider standards. Covers (and cover albums) have lost their popularity in the digital era, but Brown Eyed Girls have tackled this approach for their new release, Re:Vive. It’s been a long four years since the group’s last album, and fans are right to be upset that Re:Vive doesn’t deliver any “new” material. But, if there’s one group that can make a modern covers album work, it’s Brown Eyed Girls.
First on the release slate is Wonder Woman, a re-working of the semi-obscure Joe Wonsun song. While the original pulsed with a bossa nova energy, Brown Eyed Girls have converted the track into a disco throwback. As such, it takes on a very different life. Its swinging performance style has been subdued into a breezy coo, giving the track a lithe, bubbly appeal. The focus here is on vibe over melody, which was probably smart. The original doesn’t boast much in the way of dynamic song construction, and Brown Eyed Girls have softened those already-delicate hooks.
However, the vibe the girls are able to project is certainly addictive. Wonder Woman’s production is immensely satisfying, nailing the hedonistic appeal of disco. I love the backing vocals. They glide across the track with a wonderful texture, and add a completely new dimension to the track. The percolating beat and insistent rhythm guitar pull everything together and act as the perfect compliment to the girls’ always captivating performance. Still, it feels like this is all a bit of a missed opportunity. So many of the right ingredients are here, but Wonder Woman is let down by the nonchalant nature of the original track. There’s just not enough foundation to grab onto, which limits the track’s overall potential.
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