November 9, 2016 marked one of the most important moments in modern history: The release of T-ara’s new single, ‘TIAMO.’
It’s an interesting time for T-ara, who are now officially has-beens in Korea, while also being one of the most popular and in-demand K-pop acts overseas. Their diminished stature at home was reflected in their last single, ‘So Crazy,’ which saw the group abandon their unique sound and style for a generic Brave Brothers bop that could’ve gone to any number of girl groups.
While ‘So Crazy’ was easily T-ara’s most unoriginal release, it was also one of their catchiest. I still listen to it now, and rate it much higher than most of the AOA hits that it was so obviously copying.
‘TIAMO’ is the same – generic, but also kinda great. My beloved Duble Sidekick produced this one, but it sounds like any Brave Bros song from the last couple of years. It’s a melancholy midtempo with a forgettable Christmas concept, but honestly, it’s really nice.
From the initial teasers I expected to be disappointed, but was prepared to stan anyway because I’m T-ara’s No. 1 ride or die bitch. But I’m genuinely into this, at least for the time being. It’s a lovely winter bop, what can I say?
Also: THEY GAVE BORAM AN ENTIRE BRIDGE TO HERSELF! WHAT?! That shit alone was more shocking than Trump winning the presidential election.
T-ara have stated in multiple interviews that ‘TIAMO’ is ‘for our fans.’ This is the go-to response for flailing pop stars when something is going to flop (“It wasn’t for the charts, it was for the FANS”), but in this case I buy it. Just read the lyrics.
I mean, have you seen T-ara’s fandom? We got T-ara to win Billboard’s Fan Army Face-Off two years in a row. We spam articles in the Korean media to make T-ara look popular. Keep in mind, this is for a group that hasn’t had anything close to a real hit in over three years, yet they’re still performing to 10,000 people in Shanghai and shooting movies in Thailand thanks to their fans.
As a fan, I’m happy enough with ‘TIAMO.’ But I’m curious what the rest of you think, especially the blasphemers who don’t worship at the church of T-ara like I do, so drop me a comment below.