Though I never had a chance to cover it, EXID’s Japanese debut album bore some interesting fruit this spring. I especially enjoyed their willingness to explore a variety of retro beats, which has always been one of my favorite aspects of their music. With the group on indefinite hiatus, new J-pop single Bad Girl For You arrives at an odd time. Though their Korean output has likely ended, they’ve still got a few months of Japanese promotions left.
Hopefully, Bad Girl For You will not be EXID’s swan song. I’d love to see them go out on a high, but I don’t think this track is very galvanizing. It has an oddly inert energy, constantly on the verge of building to a big moment that never comes. The group continues their flirtation with 90’s club beats, but Bad Girls’ subdued electronic pulse is neither here nor there. It crafts a sense of grimy atmosphere at the expense of dynamic propulsion. Even as we hit the chorus, the production remains listless.
This changes for the better at the tail end of Bad Girls’ second verse. It’s as if the instrumental finally wakes up during this segment, unleashing a more aggressive synth attack that points toward a much more interesting production. Unfortunately, this quickly falls back to the mushy blend of electronics that underline the vast majority of the track. And without a memorable melody over the top, the entire song kind of collapses in on itself. Even EXID seem a bit tired with the performance, aiming for sultry but ending up with bland. It’s too bad, because superior b-sides like Vaporize Yourself and Cookie & Cream deserved to be heard and promoted over this.
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