The old K-pop fan in me loves to see second-gen producers forging their own agencies and groups. Shinsadong Tiger is a legendary talent within the industry, responsible for so many classic tracks. It’s surprising, then, that his work with TRI.BE has yet to result in anything as strong as his past glories. I blame it on different musical trends for different eras, as well as my own hesitance toward the chant-along girl group fare of today.
We’ll move past this sound eventually, right? At this moment, the vast majority of girl group titles go full-on Bratz Doll. Sometimes, it’s the basis for an entire song. Other times, the affectation pops up in spurts. In the case of TRI.BE’s Would You Run (우주로), the track is strongest when it feels the least beholden to this attitude-heavy expectation. The repeated riff that opens the song feels reheated from any number of girl group tracks, and makes for an oddly leaden intro to a Shinsadong Tiger production. The first verse continues this familiar sound. It’s solid, but unmemorable.
Would You Run finds more daring sounds during its chorus. The instrumental begins to take life here, giving the girls more to work with in terms of melody. I find the hook a little repetitive, but the driving beat delivers a fun blast of energy. TRI.BE sell the sentiment as well as any other group, but I’d love to hear their vocals tackle something less affected. There’s a reason my favorite girl group comebacks of the year have been Brave Girls’ triple-attack of slick, sentimental dance tracks. There’s something so satisfying about dropping the bravado and singing (or rapping) in a direct and powerful manner. I’d rather hear Would You Run tone down the bluster and cut right to the heart of the song.