With over 3,000 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2011
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: producers make all the difference.
Nine Muses debuted in 2010 with the serviceable (but boring) No Playboy, which was actually co-written by JYP. I’m not sure how Star Empire scored that coup. But despite the big name attached to the song, No Playboy did nothing for the girls. So, a year later they moved onto hitmakers-of-the-moment Sweetune – a pairing that would last over two years and bear countless musical fruit. The first track to emerge from this partnership was 2011’s Figaro.
Talk about a difference! Figaro’s overall vibe isn’t even all that different from No Ladies, but the song nails every single element. The production is crisp and focused, melding disco guitar with blasts of funky brass and a beguiling electro beat. Nine Muses’ vocals are touched by that familiar Sweetune magic, arranged with the force and care of a symphony. The layering on the chorus is pure aural bliss. It’s so full and gorgeous.
It helps that Figaro is forged from one killer hook after another. Its rhythmic verses give way to an ultra-smooth chorus, with a refrain that simply rushes in. And just when you think the track has unveiled all its tricks, a bombastic bridge pulls the rug from under your feet as electric guitar joins the arrangement and pulls us toward a mighty key change. Figaro knows exactly what you want and delivers. There’s no ‘let’s play it cool’ minimalism, here. This is pop music at its most celebratory.