Many well-meaning fans pointed me to Yukika's Neon last year and knew how much I loved everything that influenced the 80s. And I enjoyed it, even though I think it's a bit half-hearted without the bite that I like to hear in a good pop song. But for me, city pop is in a nutshell. I think I like the idea of city pop more than most of the music itself. His distant nature tends to prefer flat vocal performances that lack the expressiveness that can make a song particularly memorable. With that said, Soul Lady (서울 여자) increases the energy for a brisk explosion from the past.
The track reveals its large, brass-like instrumental from the start and delivers a penetrating dance beat with rhythm layers that support a catchy drum machine and airy backing vocals. It shares many elements from Yukika's previous work, but Soul Lady feels fuller and definitely more exciting. Even if it slows down for a hazy, dreamy bridge, you know that his powerful chorus is just around the corner. And while I always prefer the swing to repetition, Soul Lady's hooks are sharp enough to stick.
Of all the K-pop acts that go back to the sounds of the 80s this summer, Yukika seems to be most concerned with regaining the aesthetics. I wonder what Soul Lady could sound like if it had added a few modern touches to its city pop frame. I think we have Sunmis Pporappippam for it, and these two songs are a nice double feature.
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