Girl group BVNDIT spent their debut year releasing trendy music that didn’t reinvent the wheel. Though polished and well-performed, I felt like all of their singles suffered from the same generic template. They weren’t offering anything I couldn’t get elsewhere. Now, the girls are first up for their agency’s digital project New.wav, which aims to offer more frequent release opportunities for the artists on their roster.
If its English-language lyrics are any indication, Cool is a song aimed at an international audience. And though I’ll always prefer K-pop tracks delivered in their native language, the lyrics here aren’t too irritating. More importantly, the song gives BVNDIT an interesting sonic makeover. Taking heavy influence from the new wave genre, Cool forges a bratty, energetic instrumental that pulses with inventive synths and a heavy breakbeat. The vocal arrangement is a major strength, reminiscent of the ambient vocal styles of the late 90’s. It feels like a genuinely new sound for K-pop, and it’s tethered to a series of hooks that use their abrasiveness to their advantage.
Cool plays around with tempo as well, shifting between seemingly disparate segments but tying everything together nicely. This is most apparent during the bombastic bridge, which briefly turns up the guitars and percussion for a splash of punk-fueled energy. I would love to hear this influence in a promoted title track from BVNDIT. The industry could certainly do with a new-wave-meets-90’s-Riot-Grrrl girl group. Can you imagine how awesome that would be, complete with K-pop choreography and high-concept visuals?
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I swear this sounds like a long form advertisement for a cool beverage, except there is no cool beverage in sight. Really, this could be the ad for coca cola that plays before the previews. Even the video style screams it.
Well, at least it is something to comment on besides the Bundit spelling, so I suppose it is a step up.
Cool is the first original sounding k-pop song I’ve heard in 2020, and indeed for many months. It’s about time too! I’m not a fan of BVNDIT (yet), but I hope it does well and more importantly, We all can benefit from more original k-pop on the charts and much less copy of a copy of a copy. The music video is interesting too, it could easily be repurposed as a H&M or GAP advert, just slap their logo on the end. I was actually surprised that didn’t happen.
You may be on to something, Nick. Now that I think about it, it would be really interesting to hear K-pop tackle some iconic sounds from some acts from 20 to 30 years ago such as:
Republica – Ready To Go
Imogen Heap – Goodnight and Go
Sneaker Pimps – 6 Underground
P!NK – Get The Party Started
Avril Lavigne – Sk8er Boi
Janet Jackson – Go Deep
Mary J Blige – Rainy Dayz
Veruca Salt – Volcano Girls
KT Tunstall – Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
Now, I’m obviously not suggesting mirror copies of those songs (because we already have them), but the essence of each of those would be interesting. Imagine a mamamoo take on “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” or Dreamcatcher / PinkFantasy tackling a concept like “Volcano Girls” and you get the drift.
As far as this song, “Cool”, I like it.
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Pink, Just like a Pill, covered by Dreamcatcher.
I haven’t moved from the spot where your left me …
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Maybe you should get some help, but don’t call the nurse because I hear she’s being a little bitch.