You know, the minute I say anything about an Asian girl group, the exact opposite happens. I say Morning Musume is dying, it has a sudden comeback. The minute I say the Wonder Girls are on a comeback, they make horrifying flops of songs and decisions. This is could make my job as a music critic incredibly difficult.
So, yes, the Wonder Girl’s new song Like This off their second mini-album Wonder Party…sometimes there just aren’t enough words.
Here’s the problem with Like This: it’s blander than a mayo sandwich on white bread with a side of milk. Could it get any more boring? And this isn’t just a critique of the lyrics, the melody has no bite to it either. It’s just the same droning beat in the background over and over again with no variation. The chorus does nothing but repeat “LIKE THIS” over and over again to the point it becomes annoying. The lyrics are about dancing in a club and love – ergo the same thing everyone else has been singing about since the beginning of the year, except with some pop and sizzle. I’m not sure who thought that this choice of song was going to be a proper follow up to “Be My Baby” but they need to be fired. Move like a wave? Really? GET WITH THE TIMES.
The video itself…interesting I guess? I’m not even sure what to call it. It’s supposed be a mall flashmob, which was popular here…late last year. And yes, it’s fun to see these pop stars come right out of nowhere, but the video is a little disoriented. Often times, I can’t find the Wondergirl in the shot unless it’s centered on her. And since they are all wearing different clothes I can’t tell who is who. It also don’t help that one of them had the same hair and similar clothes to one of the 2NE1 girls in the Japanese version of “Go Away” so I kept thinking I was seeing things. If only this were a 2NE1 video – probably would have been executed a hell of a lot better executed.
Now, I am sure many of you want me to talk about how Wonder Girls had their own Nick special, English single release, and are now touring with the Jonas Brothers. The single The DJ is Mine I am not touching with a 60 foot pole because that thing was the bloodiest train wreck I have ever seen in K-Pop history so I’m going to pretend it never happened. Nick is where all dreams go to die a slow, sad on-air death so that’s bust. And the Jonas Brothers – really? Again, it doesn’t have so much to do with the musicians themselves – all five Wonder Girls are only doing the best with what they are being told to do. Every performance is great and every song they do they give 100% percent. But when the song and video aren’t great, it really overshadows that fact. You can sing like a choir of angels but if the rest of the pieces don’t mesh well, it’s going to suck. So I don’t want anyone to think I am throwing the blame of the singers themselves. It’s quite the opposite – I think they are the only ones who seem to be really trying and actually care.
All I can say is TURN BACK NOW JYP. This venture can lead you nowhere but misery and that is a fact. American music audiences want K-Pop but this cutesy, weird, kid friendly J-Pop. Give us a I am the Best or The Boys – something that’s mature but not edgy, fun but not obnoxious, and GOOD. Quality, guys, quality. And I know Wonder Girls can deliver, it just remains to be seen.