Brave girls once emerge in a blue moon and descend like an immortal, endless force on the K-pop industry. To our great delight, they deliver a little pop truffle before disappearing again – a mythical entity that may not return until years later.
This fiction vastly overstates its impact on the K-pop market, but I am consistently shocked by its longevity. As the flagship of Brave Sound, they are more "brands" than artists, with several member changes confirming this. But if you want to be a ship for a producer's whims, there are worse maestros out there than Brave Brothers. Once a king of K-pop releases has been released, its music is rarely heard these days. We had to be content with a few overwhelming efforts by the rookie boy group DKB. Brave Girls material can be hit or miss, but it always feels like it is unfiltered by Brave Brothers. And with “retro” becoming a buzzword this year, it's the perfect time for his synth-heavy sound to reappear.
The new single We Ride (운전 만 해) deals with the popular city pop genre. It's a slavish replica of the sound, even more so than Sunmi's upbeat (and excellent) Pporappipp at the beginning of this summer. And this approach is both calling card and reluctance. In its most unforgettable form, City Pop tarnishes many edges of a song in favor of a straightforward, muted bop. This is the case with We Ride, which provides a mood but skims dynamic peaks and valleys. The track is a head-nodder that pulsates along a seeping groove, with accents of synth strings creating atmosphere. It's no different from a lot of material on Yukika's most recent album, although she was able to conjure up more engaging hooks. In contrast, We Ride is airy, undemanding fun – perfect for a lazy summer ride.
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