Though I’ve always loved AOA’s discography, I was only familiar with a few of the members prior to this year’s Queendom series. Because of this, I was delighted to find a group of ladies with an appealing sense of self-deprecating humor and a down-to-earth warmth at odds with their often-glamorous image. Korea seems to have fallen in love all over again as well, which makes the release of new single Come See Me (날 보러 와요) a big opportunity for the group.
Come See Me ticks off many of the boxes I look for in a K-pop track. It’s got a big, catchy chorus, propulsive electro production and no unnecessary momentum shifts. Yet, I find myself “in like” with the song, when I’d rather be in love. At their Brave Brothers-produced best, AOA painted a quirky, idiosyncratic brand of pop music that always seemed to be bursting with ideas and energy. Since returning as a sextet, and now a quintet, the girls have retained the catchy pop gloss of their past material but outsourced the songwriting to various European (and Korean) teams. The result feels a little more generic and safe.
As far as pop songs go, Come See Me is solid as a rock. It presents its Eurodance-meets-Spaghetti-Western motif right away, offering a swirling verse that’s as predictable as it is enjoyable. The build that follows is about as classic an EDM approach as you could expect, and forewarns a lifeless beat drop that (thankfully) never appears. Instead, Come See Me hits us with a fleshed-out, two-part chorus that even finds some room for Jimin’s trademark “heys”. I can’t fault the melody here except to say I feel like I’ve heard it before in many a faceless European dance track. The fact that it feels somewhat fresh in 2019 K-Pop says more about this year than it does the quality of the song. I can’t imagine any listener disliking a track like this, but I wish it caught us off-balance at least once during its three-and-a-half minutes.
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