AoA are starting the new year after a rather tepid 2016. Determined to keep it trucking, the group have released their first full album with a double feature.
My thoughts about the group have always been very cordial and positve. Their 2014-2015 releases had been some of my favorites from them. I enjoyed Heart Attack. I didn’t even really hate Good Luck, but the thrill about AoA is that they are kind of that group that is hot, but will likely never break past that barrier. Which is fine, but it leaves them continuing to make songs that are enjoyable, easily digestible, but not at all challenging to them. Which is fine. I don’t want to sit here and pretend I value artistic integrity when I will slam most of those “efforts” more often than not. Instead I value a change of pace. While AoA are limiting their comebacks now (because they can afford to), it makes their pop more valuable, but ultimately I don’t miss it.
With that being said, both Excuse Me and Bing Bing fall into that. Excuse Me is definitely the winner of the two tracks, and I will likely have it some where on the end of year list. Bing Bing unfortunately doesn’t have that such luck.
If you would have told me that Brave Brothers has anything to do with this song I would have laughed at you. The song lacks many of Brave’s usual musical quirks, having one general sound, and rarely deviating from it for a more upbeat electronic pop sound. Here though Excuse Me is something different. The song is an upbeat bright track that is instantly likable. Very dynamic that only suffers from an unnecessary change in sound for a second rap break. Still the song trucks just perfectly. The video itself follows a storyline. The group are spying on a dude, who I have no idea who he is. I think most K pop videos and storylines are just…a waste of time. The over acting to achieve very little results, them being obvious in open spaces…it’s just…eh. The group is pretty, the dance is underwhelming. That’s it.
Bing Bing isn’t bad, but it feels unnecessary after Excuse Me which gets the job done quite well. While Excuse Me comes off more focused and refined musically, Bing Bing seems to be the bigger more dynamic song with more spacious sounds happening. I just don’t find this to be a great track. In fact that I think AoA should have released a ballad of sorts to be the more vulnerable side of the group. The only thing about the song I do like is the “can’t nobody do it like you do the way you do it.” That was actually a hype moment, and Jimin follows with a nice rap. But other than that…meh. The video is just a way to look at the group, and I wish they would get rid of the dance portions. This group is not invested in as a performance based group, so the under dancing (which really has to do with the choreography itself and not the group), just leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
I’m hoping…that Excuse Me becomes the hit. I find it to be the better track of the two. Neither song are really out of the norm for AoA, who have become Brave Brother’s new muses since…2013. But Excuse Me is far more catchy and just well done. Even with that trap breakdown for Jimin, the song doesn’t really lose itself. Bing Bing is nice enough, but I will likely forget it by February.
AoA’s first full album, Angel’s Knock is out now on Korean streaming portals, as well as US one’s.