SPICA might not be immediately recognizable to those older K-Pop fans since the group debuted in 2012 with a slow start in the single department– in fact, they only released once single in 2013. But with the Lee Hyori seal of approval, the band continued their training and promoting until, in early 2014, they released their fourth official single.
Let’s listen to You Don’t Love Me by SPICA.
Here’s the music video with an English translation here:
In terms of the lyrics, it’s a little difficult to tell what happened. My interpretation is that the woman in the song was dating a guy who really wasn’t into to, though there’s no reference in the song whether he cheated on her. The man is essentially accused of being cold, deceptive and calculating, subtly changing her, and she wants to dump his ass. Kick-ass ladies dropping dead weight to the curve is pretty prevalent in K-Pop but it’s usually for a cheater or jerk, less so a liar and manipulator. Still, the lyrics are greatly aided by the style of the song itself, which will touch on later.
The video is heavily linked to the style of the song more so than the actual lyrics (no big loss as we just discussed). The 1960s motif is incredibly eye catching, even if the multiple outfits and hair styles are not what one would call flattering on the members themselves. There are several different backgrounds, including a backstage changing room, a prison cell, and a living room of some sort. There are also some more angry images, like one member putting a man figurine in her mouth and then dropping him out at the end (chewing in up and spitting him out) or a girl roughly grabbing into a bowl of cheese-puff bowl resting on her lap. Clearly this is meant to represent the actions they wish they could do to the guy but would have raised the video’s rating (which is currently set at 15 and older) or gotten it straight-up censored so symbolism it is.
In terms of dance, there’s a lot of posing in this one but not too much in the way of the video. In order to see what the concert dance version will be like, you’ll have to check out their practice video. Based on that, I will say there’s a lot of 60s style sways and hand movements that really highlight the retro sound of the piece which is weird since there’s usually more hip-hop influences. I won’t say it’s a badly choreographed number but it’s not all that interesting.
Where this song really shines is in the vocals. SPICA seems to have a penchant for excellent harmonies and this song is no exception. Their voices are deeply and sultry, working off each other well and not in the typical K-Pop-girls-sounding-the-same way. The slower soul tempo of the song also allows for more drawn out singing, including the incredibly belting in the beginning. The constant “you don’t love me” in the background is a little grating from time to time when I remember it’s there. Still, this is a groovy song that deserves major props for being stronger vocally than in bass drops. The melody itself isn’t all that catchy, but as a ballad, that’s not surprising.
In the end, You Don’t Love Me is not the greatest song SPICA’s ever done but it’s definitely in my top three. As a group, they have a lot of potential if they could just keep the momentum moving. While I do love the soul tribute, I think they should go back to a more Hip-Hop based track, if only so there’s no more swaying.
– Great song.
– Good video.
– Great vocals.
– Lackluster dance.
– Bad costuming.