KEEMBO’s Love Me 4 Me caps off an underwhelming week of K-pop releases. I’d be lying if I said my mind was really on K-pop anyway, given the events of this first week of 2021. But, I do appreciate when the industry kicks off the new year with a bang. I still remember when SM Entertainment hit us with Girls’ Generation’s I Got A Boy on the very first day of January 2013. It was like a throw-down-the-gauntlet, “can you top this?” introduction to what would go on to be a very strong year in music.
This has nothing to do with KEEMBO, of course, but the fact that I’m willing to spend a third of my review on barely-connected events shows just how little I have to say about a song like Love Me 4 Me. The duo continue to work with producers Sweetune on this track – though interestingly, Han Jae-ho and Kim Seung-soo are back to being credited by their own names on MelOn instead of the moniker Sweetune. And as KEEMBO’s singles have rolled out, they’re starting to rely less and less on the layered synth sound that always felt like a Sweetune trademark.
Love Me 4 Me is a pretty song, and the girls’ vocal performance is reliably polished and enjoyable. But, these kind of gentle, mid-tempo tracks have never been for me. They paint a mood and vibe, but the actual songcraft feels rote and expected. Aside from some welcome touches of brass, the groove is fairly unassuming and generic. Having really fallen for music in the mid-90’s when this style of laid-back pop was ubiquitous, it’s a sound that I find quite nostalgic. But, there are far more interesting and dynamic tracks within this genre.