Despite woo!ah!’s exuberant name, their self-titled debut failed to elicit much excitement. But, rookie groups often take some time to get going, and that may be the case here. New single Bad Girl may not offer anything revelatory or new, but it already feels more assured.
Like so many girl group tracks this year, Bad Girl seems heavily indebted to the sound of ITZY’s 2019 debut. Dalla Dalla was a bonafide K-pop smash, but I’m not sure anyone could have predicted just how influential it would become. Its catwalk beat, the attitude infused delivery and big, celebratory chorus have all become expected ingredients in many 2020 girl crush tracks. Bad Girl mostly follows suit, drawing from the same sound palette and bringing an unexpected sense of polish to the performance.
The song is strongest during its verses, whether it be the vocal-led intro or the thumping hip-hop that follows the first chorus. An unnecessary breakdown is shoehorned right into Bad Girl’s center, which is a shame, and the track occasionally veers into obnoxious playground taunt chanting. But, when the girls offer a more robust performance, Bad Girl unveils a potential I didn’t know woo!ah! had. Given some streamlining, I think this general sound works well for them. But, I guess the point of this style is to be a little rough around the edges. Still, I would have removed the bridge, the breakdown and the post-chorus hook, while expanding upon the track’s strengths.