Weki Meki didn’t release much music in 2019, but it was their strongest year yet. Picky Picky drew on their quirkier side to great appeal, and Tiki Taka was the summer anthem that should have taken over all of the charts. Taken together, these songs formed a solid stepping stone to build upon. Unfortunately, new single Dazzle Dazzle feels more like a step back to their polarizing debut-era singles.
This track is an example of a girl group trend I’m finding less palatable the more I hear it. It’s the conversion of pop song into playground taunt, complete with vocal affections that infantilize the performance. This is evident right from Dazzle’s introduction, when Suyeon transforms the word “me” into a bratty coo that instantly conjures images of hair twirling and eye rolling. It’s a needlessly obnoxious way to phrase a lyric, and I’ve seen it hijack way too many girl group tracks of the past few years. Instead of just singing the song straight, a group like Weki Meki is twisted into a loud aegyo machine. Maybe I’m just not the target market, but I find it more irritating than endearing.
This near-constant play-acting makes it hard to enjoy the strengths of a song like Dazzle Dazzle. Its chorus is the rare oasis of sanity within a maelstrom of chirps and chants, drawing on an ascending hook that makes much better use of the girls’ vocals. Tethered to a different song, I think this segment would be more enjoyable – compelling, even. But, it’s competing with verses that constantly churn out chaotic energy, painting the girls with the same stereotypical brush as many of their peers. In some ways, it’s ITZY-esque, but ITZY bring a certain strength that somehow elevates the formula. Unfortunately, Weki Meki just kind of get lost in the aegyo illusion. I know that K-pop is built upon a wall of artifice, but for me this particular veneer is wearing thin.
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!
It’s a very enjoyable song. It is also the nth enjoyable girl crush song of February so it doesnt compare favorably to better ones released, oh, yesterday or last week, or the three from two weeks ago, and etc. (For the record, I was on the love side of “I dont like your girlfriend”, and alsomlived “tiki taka”)
There is lurching throughout that is uncomfortable. Now most of us who listen to kpop regularly are used to tempo changes and expect half time and double time. This song seems to change it up every other line, which doesnt work so well. I feel like I am the passenger on that old country road in a manual car with a driver who doesnt know how to drive stick shift.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Trying to figure out how being a passenger with an inept manual driver on a country road is enjoyable… because all I can think of is carsickness lol 🤢. But, hi, fellow oddball who also happened to like I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend. Unfortunately for me, the quirky charm that IDLYGF had is absent for me in this release. Where the vibe from that struck as me very intentionally odd, this one felt more like they were actually trying for something a bit more traditional and missed the mark. Even a lot of the individual performances feel like they are phoning it in, so it’s missing that palpable excitement groups have during their debut as well.
Ah, yes, context is key. If it is a Mazda miata convertible top down on a beautiful day through wine and apple country, you dont worry about the clutch. Versus rainy day top up driving through farming country the day after fertilizer is spread, yeesh.
I offer a cheers to your comment with a glass of the lovely Bordeaux that I’m capping off the work week with right now. Here’s to your excellent imagery.
Here’s a little jaunt through the inner workings of my twisted brain pan. When IDLYG first dropped, I loathed it. I listened to it once or twice and had zero intentions of returning to it. But that bridge.. ..that damn bridge with its droning bass synths.. ..swoooon. I would go back to that song again and again just for that part. After repeated listens, the song didn’t just grow on me, it started to.. ..make sense to me. What sorcery is this? What foul magic has taken over my sensibilites? Now, I don’t very much care for your girlfriend either! There, I said it. Wait, what? Umm, yeah; I think.
Hmm. Where to begin? Well, you wrote that the chorus offered you a modicum of redemption. I can’t even say I had that. For me, the bridge was my palate cleanser, but that was too brief to provide any ballast to this sinking ship.
You commented that there was too much “aegyo”, and I agree. Not because I’m anti-cutesy (because K-pop has anesthetized me to this style, to an extent), but because it seems this genre is now defaulting to extremes.. ..again. There’s no half-measures. Lately, it’s either full-tilt girl crush, baby-talk cutesy, or maudlin ballads.
That may be because agencies are scared. Experimenting is risky because it has the potential to alienate fan bases that are expecting more of the same and the returns are usually small groups that like the new style and others that are critical. Even here on this site, I’ve seen some releases where a group tried to break out of their mould and it left everyone here divided with the results.
For example, everyone can agree that Red Velvet is a solid group, but not everyone likes everything they’ve released; and the songs that they do like don’t necessarily match the same ones that others like. That’s because this group mixes things up, which in turn makes them different things to different people, but also a group that everyone can agree is a top group. That’s rare in K-pop. I’d dare say, Red Velvet is unique in that distinction.
At this point, I don’t know what Weki Meki is. If I rated them on their first few songs, it wouldn’t be favorable. Then they appeared to be a new candy-coated version of Sistar, and now they don’t. I wish they’d make up my mind because this release didn’t dazzle dazzle me.