Someone on Purple Kiss’s team must really want to screw with this comeback’s search engine optimization, huh? Searching for memeM (맴맴) is bound to flood your screen with Purple Kiss memes instead of music. Knowing K-pop, maybe that’s the point! Last we heard from the ladies, they delivered a quirky horror concept. Zombie stood out as a fun, funky twist on current trends. memeM is a hard shift in a new (yet quite familiar) direction.
Oof. Double oof. Actually, let’s make that a triple oof. If this sound is for you, you’re in luck. You’ve been well-fed this past year! memeM has it all: clanging EDM beats, jackhammer synths, sing song melodies and a drop chorus that relies on “mem mem mem” as its central hook. In between, we get shots of vocal firepower that hint at the incredibly talented group Purple Kiss are. Unfortunately, memeM switches gears so often that it’s never able to fully harness its strengths. Even when we segue into a bombastic climax, the segment feels randomly grafted onto this Frankenstein of a song.
I can see what memeM is trying to do. There’s a long history of off-kilter arrangements in K-pop. But – and I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face – you must anchor tracks like this with at least one great hook. Otherwise, the bluster becomes the focus rather than a delivery method. For example, there’s not a ton of daylight between memeM and a track like 2NE1’s I Am The Best. But while the latter plays like a conveyor belt of hooks, too much of memeM is spent casting off forgettable affectations. It’s not focused. Its various elements often feel at war with each other. Purple Kiss deserve better than this.