Fresh off her win on American Song Competition (a phrase I never thought I’d write on this blog…), AleXa is back with the release of her first mini album. While she debuted with a cool sci-fi concept, her music has gradually explored new avenues. None of the songs have really clicked me, and her ASC entry Wonderland felt particularly generic. If nothing else, it brought familiar K-pop tropes to a Western audience.
Back In Vogue has a promising title, hinting at a grand return. Its mid-tempo dance beat recalls hits of the early 2000’s – a very trendy influence at the moment. Though they’re somewhat buried in the mix, the instrumental stabs have a whiff of Baby One More Time to them. I wish the song was as musically feisty as its inspirations. AleXa has always been a charismatic performer, but there’s only so much you can do with material like this.
Objectively, Back In Vogue is well-produced and competent. But, it’s definitely not for me. It sounds like something you might hear in a Disney Channel original movie musical, filled with broad exclamations of confidence that mostly fall flat. But if we assume the song was written with a younger audience in mind, it’s probably unfair to judge it through any other lens. I’m sure Back In Vogue will find its share of fans, but I wish the entire song harnessed the swaggering energy of its bridge. A track like this needs a killer beat. What we have here is incredibly sanitized.