Song Review: Cignature – Boyfriend

Cignature - BoyfriendIt’s been more than a year since Cignature’s last comeback. In that time, the group has seen member changes and a reinvention in sound. Gone are the crazy days of Arisong (whose bonkers approach ended up being super fun), replaced by the much more subdued Boyfriend. K-pop reinventions aren’t rare, but how will a rookie group like Cignature fare after such a long hiatus?

Well, Boyfriend fits the group like a glove. It’s nice to hear them tackle a sound that’s different from most of their peers. I’m actually shocked the track opts for such a muted tone. It runs counter to many of the industry’s trends, but that helps it stand out. Better yet, Boyfriend allows the girls to show off their vocals in a way that feels less affected than past title tracks. They sound assured here, given space to twist the melody and add nuance in the right places.

As far as the song itself, Boyfriend is alright. Everything about it feels quite “generic Western pop,” which is a bit of a comedown after the craziness of Arisong and ASSA. The chorus opts for the sort of anthemic stomp that tends to be an easy fallback for tracks of this style. The melody in the chorus is too repetitive, but it’s supported by a satisfying rumble of synth. I like how spare the verses feel, but even here the refrains come across as predictable to the point of tedium. Cignature inject enough character to make Boyfriend worth discovering. I just hope that, after this switch-up in sound, the girls are given more daring material that pushes their transformation in interesting directions.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

11 thoughts on “Song Review: Cignature – Boyfriend

  1. I didn’t have anything playlisted from them so I looked back at your reviews, and yeah, this does seem like quite a change. I’ve playlisted several full EPs this month and I think this is going to be another one. “Boyfriend” doesn’t sound all that much like a title track but I like where it sits in the EP. “My Diary” reminds me a bit of Weeekly’s sound, which manages to balance cute with quirky in a way I enjoy when I’m in the mood. “Villain” and “Climax” sound like they could almost be Billlie tracks if they were slightly less cute and had fuller instrumentals and a rap line. “Sirius” is rather pretty – I’m not hearing any standout vocals but they keep in a comfortable range that sounds nice on them. Overall I wish there was a bit more instrumental and less drum machine, but honestly, it’s a solid EP. Here’s hoping it’s not another year until the next one.


  2. there’s a lot I enjoy. But I would’ve rather they utilized their now strengthened vocal line to improve upon the sound they were already creating. ASSA was polarizing, but I think that song just has some of my favorite teen-crush attitude I’ve been served.

    I actually like the subdued nature but I would’ve hoped for a couple more surprises.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The song does feel very Western. However, signature didn’t perform it like a western artist though which definitely makes me like it a lot better than similar songs of this style.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah wait, iirc this is the group that has the gummy smile chick that Xeno has a crush on.

    First of all, song etc is fine.

    Here is another example of a different sort of 80s revival sound which I shall call “the spartan”. Lisa’s solo the other month was another, and there are another couple recently which escape me. Basically, minimize the instrumental to the barest, then add for emphasis. Songs like perhaps U2 “With or without you” or Phil Collins “In the air tonight”. Queen “We will rock you” has only vocal and hand claps until the outro. Lots of examples in New Wave too – this is where I usually mention Depeche Mode so instead I will suggest OMD “Motion and Heart” as a fine example.

    The difference is that back then, the songs were constructed by accretion, that is built up line by line to become the fuller song. These days, here, it sounds like they build the whole song, then remove the supports here and there to sound spare. For my taste, I prefer the former.


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