Miss A never came close to actually flopping in the five years that they’ve been active, but there’s no doubt that their position in the Korean girl group hierarchy started sliding as the group continued to take a back seat to Suzy’s explosive solo career.
The foursome’s future looked a little uncertain up until this past week when they staged an enormous comeback (a real one, not a K-pop comeback) with the release of their 3rd mini-album, Colors.
Lead single, “Only You,” shot straight to the top of Korea’s digital charts immediately after its release on Monday. despite strong competition from EXO’s “Call Me Baby” and Unpretty Rapstar cast singles. It remained there for almost a week with multiple Melon ‘roof hits’ and has already achieved the first ‘perfect all-kill’ of the year–a feat usually only achieved by Korea’s biggest digital artists, like IU and SISTAR. The song’s MV also impressively racked up over 4 million views in four days.
It’s hard to say how much of this explosive success is down to Suzy banging hallyu icon Lee Min Ho in a hotel room and how much is from miss A’s actual popularity, but there’s no question that Colors deserves to dominate.
The effervescent “Only You” has dethroned Shannon’s “Why Why” as the adorable feel-good single of the year. It’s one of the few miss A title tracks not to be produced by the generally great J.Y. Park, and it was a risk that paid off: Rising hitmaker Black Eyed Pilseung (SISTAR’s “Touch My Body,” Niel’s “Lovekiller”) whips up a sweet beat of synth-pop and frothy trap that sounds tailor-made for miss A. The group’s music has never been anything close to bland or generic despite generally showing far more restraint than most of K-pop’s more ostentatious productions, and “Only You” captures that essence perfectly.
The music video is divine. The majority of the clip is a homage to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, and just like the classic thriller it’s bursting with an eye-popping visual flair. The plot confuses me a bit though, as miss A ditch the Rear Window concept in the third act and opt to hit a club instead.
I’ve tried to decipher a meaning out of this from the lyrics, which detail a one-sided infatuation from miss A’s end, but I couldn’t come up with anything profound or interesting enough to repeat here.
As for the rest of Colors, fans are calling “Love Song” the “Lips” of this era, but I don’t completely agree. “Love Song” –which may be the first song to be classified as ‘crunk classical’– is kind of genius for melding oriental strings with hip-hop and pop, but “Only You” is still the perfect lead single. Plus, I’m personally more enamoured with the woozy “Melting,” which has waves of bass peppered with DJ Mustard synths and breathless whispers.
Colors is the umpteenth amazing girl group comeback we’ve been fortunate enough to be receive in a year where almost everything that’s been released has been flawless. Although, this one feels a little more special than the rest considering miss A’s history and standing in the K-pop business. It’s nice to know that they still have some juice left in the tank after all this time!