Review

Song Review: Dreamcatcher – BOCA

Dreamcatcher have discovered one of K-pop’s golden rules: find a signature sound, build a consistent discography around it, and the fans will come. It may take a while – years even – and the growth may be slow. But, this kind of gradually-built popularity tends to foster a more devoted, less superficial fan base. Since their debut in early 2017, Dreamcatcher have stuck to their musical guns. This doesn’t always result in the most earth-shattering of comebacks, but it has guaranteed a sense of reliability.

Much of the credit must go to the behind-the-scenes talent. Dreamcatcher have largely stuck with the same producers their entire career, and new track BOCA is no different. The girls are at the point where they can take their signature sound and begin twisting it in new directions. Back in February, that resulted in the brilliant Scream. This time, BOCA takes Dreamcatcher’s rock base and casts it over trendier tropical pop. The result is mixed, though there’s enough of the group’s guitar-fueled energy to make this another solid entry in their discography.

The fusion of tropical percussion and edgier sonic elements makes for an interesting brew. The second verse is particularly groovy. I love when eerie strings or dramatic guitar flourishes accent the otherwise rhythmic structure. The contrast is quite striking, and could have been teased out even further.

Comparatively, BOCA’s chorus is Dreamcatcher-by-the-numbers, borrowing Scream’s general structure and roughing it up a bit. It’s not unsuccessful, but the song is lacking a knockout melody. Too much of the track is composed of chanted hooks. Even its more melodic refrains feel oddly lockstep, as if the arrangement is holding them back from truly flourishing. But, that’s tropical pop in a nutshell, so I guess this style of songwriting was to be expected given BOCA’s hybrid nature.

 Hooks 7
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8

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20 thoughts on “Song Review: Dreamcatcher – BOCA

  1. This sounds just like Dreamcatcher, nothing more, nothing less. But really, nothing more. Its not a good follow-up to “Scream” which made more than a few of us “stop sleeping on Dreamcatcher” to use the phrase. I bought Scream, my first Dreamcatcher; I am not buying this one. I mean, its OK, but not hey wow.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ahhhhh we completely differ on this one. I thought it was fantastic. But I guess that’s just because over the past year I’ve become a Dreamcatcher fanboy and I’ll pretty much end up liking anything they release ahahahah.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I agree! In my opinion they pretty much perfected their melodic rock style with tracks like Fly High or You and I, so I’m happy to see them mixing it up with other genres.

      The song isn’t perfect, but I find it to have more original ideas within its 3 minutes than the whole new ITZY mini, for example.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I haven’t listened to the Itzy mini yet (there’s one B-side that’s sounding promising) so I won’t remark on the comparison but right now I agree that much as I love their early more pure rock sound, mixing their rock sound with different genres is how they keep moving forward and growing and the results are still great.

        And for those who just want the rock, Break The Wall is lurking as the angsty midtempo 2000s Evanescence-esque alt-metal anthem I’d been begging them to make for two years now

        Liked by 1 person

        • so far I’ve only listened through the whole ITZY ep once but Surf is a big standout. The rest feel fine but it’s probably the most consistent of their albums so far imo

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    • Yep…. same here. Ordered the CD Album on the 17th, and it’s on its way from S. Korea. Gotta give the support to DREAMCATCHER!!!

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  3. Being biased as I am, I liked this a lot. I also figured you were going to like it less than Scream, but that’s a tough act to follow. I don’t have a verdict yet, but for now, I at least can’t fault them on their ambition–I was fully expecting something a bit more mainstream and we got this song which is rather weird as far as their titles go.

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  4. I like it but as you said it’s lacking the powerful melody.

    Everything was pointing to a grandness about to come but it didn’t happen. It was a solid track throughout and unfortunately stayed at the same level as compared to the breathtaking build-up in scream. This is still a good track but compared to Scream it feels somewhat subdued.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I find “Rockaton” a fun experiment for Dreamcatcher. To be honest, IMHO the guitar riff would have been better as a base for the verses rather than the chorus, where I would have opted for a disco synth. But anyway, it’s a good summer vibe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s one of those songs with a lot of good individual parts that don’t quite fit together. The chorus is emblematic of their style but conflicts with the verses, which are moving in a more interesting direction, especially that fantastic second verse rap. It’s a good thing all those parts are strong on their own – I can definitely see myself coming back to this more than Not Shy. (And thank the lord for Break The Wall serving me my dose of angsty anime rock OP realness.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m always going to be particularly biased when it comes to Dreamcatcher and their sound, so I’m very happy with this one. I actually think I might go on to play this more than Scream, and I’m very glad they didn’t edge out their rock sound for a heavier EDM focus. I might like Break the Wall better than BOCA, if only because I don’t think Dreamcatcher have ever ventured this far into the explicit ‘metal’ territory. It’s such an awesome thing to hear from them, especially with Siyeon’s power vocals.

    As a sidenote, their MV aesthetics have always been pretty good, but ever since Deja Vu they’ve been getting even more fantastic. Those outdoor sets this time are absolutely gorgeous. Whoever does the styling, filming, and set design for them deserves so much credit.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. In my opinion is was a step back from “Scream”. “BOCA” is still a good song but not an amazing one like “Scream”. I personally would really love if Dreamcatcher would capitalize more on their psytrance songs like “Silent Night” or “In The Frozen”. If we once get such a title track that would be heaven.

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  9. Okay so I’m usually like hypercritical of most songs but when I like something all sense of objectivity goes out the door and I’m just a mindless puppy clicking repeat on Spotify like my life depends on it. Man, Dreamcatcher has a special place in my heart as the first girl group I really got into and have quickly made their way into my top five favorite artists. Dreamcatcher will always rank in the high 8s and 9s for me because I just love how refreshing their sound is. It’s something that no rock group can do but also that no pop or kpop group has done and I love the blending of styles that Dreamcatcher has. It’s truly the experimental and genre-bending nature of kpop at it’s finest. With that said this isn’t their best song, not by a long shot, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent song. This song seems like them trying to blend their vibe from Scream with the stronger metal sound that What had and I’m digging it. I also have to say that Dreamcatcher(Leez and Ollounder-loves of my life) really knows how to use their silence. I was listening to the instrumental and there are times when it completely cuts out and there is just quite. I know a lot of people weren’t bigs fans of the melody but I think it really changes and carries the song. The instrumental sounds completely different without the vocals(if that’s a good thing I can’t objectively say-to each their own I guess).
    Also, like Gahyeon POPPED off. I really love her expanding and growing as an artist and taking on more rap parts while also slaying her vocal roles. Like that opening is *chef’s kiss*.

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    • Lol my brother did not like Dreamcatcher because he did not like the genre of rock. But after this comeback, he’s began to pay attention to them and frankly told me “yeah, less of the rock and mix it up”

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  10. Now we all love the DC rock vibe (boi, they didn’t remove it and is still the signature sound) but if they stay in their 2017-2018 era 80-100% rock vibe, it’ll eventually get repetitive and old, and they won’t be able to break to mainstream.

    I think BOCA is their best and most musically diverse comeback, giving a chance for people who do not like rock, to stan these beautiful and talented girls.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ‘signature sound, […] consistent discography‘

    how the hell can you compare the noise called ‘BOCA’ to the jpop plagiarism of ‘Fly High’

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  12. I completely disagree that K-Pop groups require a signature sound. I love (G)-Idle for trying different sounds each comebacks, even if not everything is to everyone’s taste. Meanwhile, I find groups like ‘Twice’ and ‘Itzy’ to be less exciting, because I’m 99.9999999% sure what I’m going to get with their releases (no shade JYP but this is especially the case with Twice). That said, Dreamcatcher is like a Korean Evanescence in terms of strong, beautiful female vocal against a brilliant backdrop of rock, so I totally back them keeping their style. It’s what makes them unique. I enjoyed Boca, maybe not as much as Scream or Deja Vu, but it’s a very addictive song and will gain them more popularity in Korea, which they deserve.

    Like

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