As a certified Darling since the day Dal Shabet‘s debut was first teased back in late 2010, I was really excited for the girls to return for the first time since their Eurythmics rip-off “B.B.B.” over a year ago.
Unfortunately, since the group dropped their Joker Is Alive mini-album last week, jealous haters have been raining on my parade by calling Dalegend’s comeback a trashy flop as if it were a new 2NE1 single or something.
I can understand that sentiment if you’ve only watched the MV for lead single “Joker,” but it’s the kind of song that you need to watch live to appreciate what a fierce and fabulous comeback this really is.
The “Joker” performances have been amazing, with gorgeous, artistic set pieces, stunning The Dark Knight XXX outfits, and sizzling hot choreography that rivals STELLAR and Hello Venus, but somehow looks classier and more creative coz of the comic book concept. I just wish they’d done something more provocative with the lyrics and Glasgow smile dance move, like implied that their lipstick was smeared to one side from doing naughty things to some prankster guy.
The sexy concept is an easy one to adopt for struggling girl groups looking for attention, but Dal Shabet pull it off like pros. Image wise, they’re the most flexible girl group since pre-scandal T-ara, who were once known as K-pop’s chameleon’s for their ability to pull off all kinds of OTT styles and concepts.
Watching the live stage helps you to appreciate the song, which sounds like a sexed-up Sunny Hill during one of their quirky musical moments. Very “Midnight Circus” meets “Monday Blues.”
If “Joker” still doesn’t do it for you, then just check out the rest of the mini-album. “Obsessed” –which features elegant ’90s electronica with the occasional burst of trap snares and early noughties bubblegum– is easily one of the best b-sides of the year. If it didn’t sound like one of Pitchfork’s Best New Tracks I’d suggest it for the lead single.
There’s another great song at the end of the mini, the perky euro-pop “OK Boy.” It’s not must-hear material, but as far as girl group filler goes it’s pretty strong.
So, even if you can’t get into “Joker,” you should at least be able to enjoy the imagery of this era and find at least one track on the mini-album you like.
I can admit that I’m biased, though. Even when Dalegend Godbet have a less than perfect single (“Mr. Bang Bang” and “Be Ambitious” come to mind) I still stan them for their concepts, charisma and underdog status, but Joker Is Alive really is a solid comeback. I just want you deaf and blind bitches to wake up and see it too.