When I first heard the teaser for T-ara‘s Brave Brothers-produced comeback single, “So Crazy,” I immediately thought that it’d be a 2014 AOA rehash. After all, the song was recorded last year and was almost released in place of “Sugar Free,” so it’s not like they’d be kicking off 2015 with one of Brave’s fresher sounds, like “Heart Attack” or “Wiggle Wiggle.”
T-ara’s So Good mini-album dropped today, and it turns out that “So Crazy” is more 4minute Brave than AOA Brave. This is a pleasant surprise, as Brave was giving 4minute his most innovative material before the girls ditched him for the team behind HyunA’s “Red” (who cooked up the even edgier “Crazy”).
To be fair, “So Crazy” isn’t quite as weird and wonderful as “What’s Your Name?” or “Whatcha Doin’ Today.” It’s a sped-up version of the latter (one of my favourite singles of 2014), with all the tropical synths and handclaps removed so it’s more streamlined.
The shameless similarities are really quite funny, though. The tubas, the fluttery pre-chorus, the “party toniiiggghhhttt” part that Brave literally copied and pasted from one song to the other. There’s also some nice original touches too, like old-school disc scratching and spaghetti western guitars (!!!).
As expected, the lyrics are generic Brave fare (you’re hot, I’m blushing, blah blah), while the music video, while super fun, is just as derivative. Not only does it repeat scenes from previous T-ara videos (cleaning up a cafe, nerdy girls entering a competition), it also knocks-off AOA; the sexy cosplay outfits, the booty-centric dance moves, the goofy gagwoman guest star… it’s T-arAoa!
It’s pretty obvious that this was recorded and conceived last year when all this stuff was the trend, but that doesn’t make “So Crazy” a bad comeback. Like all Brave singles, it’s insanely catchy, and it’s not as generic as it could’ve been since it at least recycles the most unconventional Brave hit of last year.
It still feels like T-ara, too. Remember pre-scandal, pre-EDM, when T-ara was the chameleon girl group? That’s because they can pull off anything, and this current transformation isn’t drastically different from what they used to do (minus the unoriginality of it all, of course).
What can I say? I love this comeback. I just wish it wasn’t coinciding with Wonder Girls’ ridiculously good return. It’s not fair to do that to anyone.