Brave Brothers has a habit of finding a winning formula and then milking it for all its worth, right before switching to something fresh just when you think you can’t possibly take another rehash of one of his previous hits.
I knew it was time for BB to switch up AOA‘s sound after they basically released the same song three times last year, but I didn’t expect the hitmaker to take a step back to his pre-“Alone” electro-pop days.
AOA’s new single, “Heart Attack,” even has one of those pre-chorus builds with plinky keys and stadium sounds, like something you’d find in one of those anthemic, David Guetta-esque songs that Chris Brown and Akon would’ve released during American R&B’s unfortunate EDM phase. The global dance sound is actually quite appropriate (if you’re into this kind of shit) considering that AOA’s already planning to release it in both Japan and China.
The generic production combined with the sporty concept makes “Heart Attack” feel like one of K-pop’s tie-in singles for a national sporting event rather than an official comeback track from one of Korea’s most popular girl groups. All it needs is a Pitbull feature to reach FIFA status.
Not that I don’t like it. It’s pretty catchy, I won’t lie. But it’s hard to completely fall for something as innocuous as this is.
Ever since AOA hit it big with the amazing “Miniskirt,” they’ve been terrified to depart from their sexy cosplay concept or to record anything that could be even slightly polarizing. The purpose of AOA’s singles now is to be as generic as possible, one size fits all, and then to reel in fans with the members’ good looks, not their music.
And if we’re gonna keep it 100% real right now, I’m not sure that “Heart Attack” is even better than some of Brave’s old z-list scraps like RaNia’s “Pop Pop Pop” or Brave Girls’ “Nowadays You,” both of which sounded outdated when they dropped in 2011. .
But hey, if you just want some fun treadmill pop to get you through a workout, then
“Heart Attack” might just be your jam. If you’re after absolutely anything else, then you’ll need to find a different girl group to stan.