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.