Skitzo genre-mashing and left of center sounds are the latest trends in K-pop, but Brown Eyed Girls already did that two years ago with “Sixth Sense.” So, how does K-pop’s most exciting girl group still shock in 2013 when everyone is doing what they already did back in 2011? By doing something completely unshocking, of course.
The group’s new single, “Kill Bill,” is a fairly straightforward slice of hooky dance-pop, which is something that nobody saw coming from the trendsetting foursome. But after the moody “Sign” and the dramatic “Sixth Sense,” now feels like the perfect time for BEG to kick back and finally have some fun.
However, “Kill Bill” does come with a bit of a twist (it is still Brown Eyed Girls, after all). The song not only takes its title from Tarantino’s two films of the same name, but also its sound. Like “Abracadabra,” it’s electronic pop, but with a spaghetti western twist, incorporating old cowboy whistles and whiplashes. The lyrics follow a similar vengeful thread to the movies, but even Uma Thurman’s vendetta against her old boss is nothing compared to the woman-scorned spite that BEG serves up.
“With tears and snot, you look awful / Just know this,” they snarl. “Compared to the humiliation you gave me / This doesn’t even come half as close / So stop crying like a child.”
They amp up the venom more and more until the final act, when the group warns their victim to change his name and disappear off the face of the earth or else their merciless punishment will continue. They then close in brilliantly bitchy fashion, stating, “I hope you give up on love,” like it’s a fact; not a wish. But despite the vicious nature of the lyrics, the majority of the lines are delivered with a sexy, H.B.I.C. kind of attitude. It stops “Kill Bill” from feeling too serious, giving it more of a fun, flirty edge despite the harsh subject matter.
Like “Recipe,” Miryo once again gets her fair share of lines, this time with two spitfire rap breaks. It reminds you why Brown Eyed Girls is the best and most talented girl group in pop music today: Not only do they have three incredible vocalists, but also one of the best femcees around.
For the mini-movie music video, Brown Eyed Girls play characters inspired by the femme fatales in the Kill Bill films and basically just try to murder each other for eight minutes straight. It’s shot and scored in the same shclock-y, neo-noir style that Tarantino’s famous for, making it both authentic and hilarious. The drama scenes are inter-cut with some “Abracadabra-esque” choreography, which sees the group gyrating around in Western-themed outfits against a white backdrop. It’s clear that BEG wanted to evoke the spirit of their signature hit, but also do something new with it at the same time.
I’d love to choose a favorite out of the “Kill Bill” music video, but all the members seemed to shine equally. Although, if I had to give it to anyone, it’d be JeA, just for the fact that her transformation into Daryl Hannah’s villainous Elle Driver is so fabulously evil and unexpected. I also need to call out Narsha on her terrible wig during the dance scenes, which makes her look like a slutty ahjumma with too much money and not enough taste. Narsha’s the undisputed queen of wigs and weaves in Korea, so I was distraught to see her get it so wrong this time. She should’ve worn her poofy Inkigayo showstopper instead! On the bright side, she looked utterly divine during the drama scenes, which almost makes up for her hairy mistake.
Objectively, “Kill Bill” is not the best Brown Eyed Girls single ever made, but it does feel like it’s exactly where the group needs to be right now in their career. It’s a very welcome return to the sexy concept of the Sound-G era and an entertaining exercise in female empowerment. Some may disagree, but BEG are still way too fierce to go back to releasing R&B power ballads like they did during the beginning of their career, and way too diva to not give us at least one album solely filled with sizzling dance-pop and funky throwback jams.
Don’t hold it against the girls for wanting to have a good time for once.