Friday, August 30, 2013

Spica- Tonight [Review]

I recently discussed Spica as a group in honor of their comeback. Long story short, Spica is by far the most talented group in the industry who haven't quite found themselves artistically. While that would usually considered a fault, Spica gracefully plays off of the freedom associated with it, taking their music in a direction completely opposite of the depressing synth based ballad-pop that they had been pushing since their debut. Instead, they pursued a more acoustic rock-tinged pop sound with a hipster girl concept.

Initially, I really was underwhelmed by the song. My first thoughts were that the song really didn't allow Spica to showcase their vocals and that it was too basic to be a lead single. As I slept on it and listened to the song a couple of times more I began to recognize and appreciate the merits and musicality of the song. More likely than not, I was surprised at the direction Spica had taken their sound which would account for my initial disdain for the song itself.

Having prefaced with my previous thoughts, I really want to emphasize how much I like the song and how well it fits Spica. The song is really addictive and has a more acoustic/American sound than the vast majority of kpop songs. The song is upbeat but the restrained freedom that builds as the song progresses makes it a great song to transition into Autumn with.

As far as the music goes, it embodies very clean, simple pop. With a common structure and a mixture of bubbly synths and guitars with drums, the song comes across as an immediately familiar song forgotten and found again.

Beginning with an intro of a galloping piano over rising and changing beats, the song gradually grows and transitions to allow the girls to take over the focus. Their voices are strong and hopeful. An electric gruitar replaces the piano as Junhyun begins to rap creating much needed intensity to a rather basic rap section. The song then moves into the chorus. The chorus is remarkably monotonous for a group of such talented singers. The section is propelled by the beatwork underlying their vocals and the guitar that is slowly rising as the vocals race forward. The intro is repeated, this time over the instrumental established by the first verse-chorus cycle and then followed by more rapping and the chorus again. For the bridge, the beats fall out creating a sense of emptyness, especially when the plucky piano takes over again. The guitar remains to play a few chords and give the girls something to play off of as the members switch off lines progressing towards the more powerful vocalists. Bohyung finally raises her voice as the guitar picks up the piano's part and the song begins building tensions. The beats return as the groups chants "Hey hey hey let's turn it up" in response to the chorus' melody. This melding of every element of the song is subdued but concise and tied so well together that it allows the song to burst into an explosive final chorus. The backing track drops off except for the piano and the girls voices are reminiscent of the intro bringing the song full circle as well as giving such an intense song some closure.

The melodies themselves are simple at best but what makes Spica so great is that they are good enough singers to capitalize on the simplicity and use it to their advantage. The choruses are divided up so that Jiwon and Narae take the earlier chorus, as to allow the song to build with their soft(er) vocals. For the later choruses, Boa and Bohyung take over giving the vocal power and gruffness to allow the song to climax and take advantage of the work of everything that had come before it. Also, the chorus does have several held notes and the group's vocal control allowed them to contort their voices to have the necessary roughness and intensity that each part of the song merits.

Apart from the song itself, the concept and music video are pretty ingenious. The group opted for a more hipster vibe and I have to say, they look better than they ever have. The styling reminds us that they are young, attractive, and free spirited, something that had been lost in all of their prior concepts. Basically, it reminds us that they are humans. No more sad vocal cannons or cheezily happy girls who are dressing way below their age range.

The music video is basically the quintessential summer video adapted for Autumn. The girls are having unrestrained fun in a grasslands-y area that is reminiscent of camping and a simple, carefree life. More importantly, there was COLOR. They colorful dust throwing is a bit overdone but I think it was really essential in order for the group to shed their dark image. The video lacks a great deal of a plot but it really doesn't need it.  A plot would distract from their singing and watching them have hipster fun was enough to be adequately engaging and enjoyable.

This is one of the strongest and funnest songs of the songs of 2013 that capitalizes on Spica's strengths instead of the song's. It may be simple, but Spica has shown several times over that they can outsing most anyone in the industry and they desperately needed an image they were comfortable with, which is exactly what this song gave them. So far, they seem to be doing pretty well, floating right outside of the top five on the instiz real time chart even two to three days after the song came out. Hopefully, it can keep it up and become the group's first true hit song.

1 comment:

  1. I gotta agree wth you, just got the chance to watch the mv. I was introduced by a friend of mine via the song russian roulette, immediately fall in love with all five of their vocals. I searched their live vids, and bumped into a vid when they cover a destiny's child song called stand up for love. and in that instant i fell in love again with this girl group. I would say they don't even bother to look beautifully masked by tonnes of layers of make up in this vid, plus this is a different set of mv girls group has been showing before.

    Lemme just say it straight y i fell in love with them.

    1. VOCALS. All five of them possess different range of vocals and still harmonizes each other.

    2. Their appearance are rather simple and not over the top. Quoted from u, dressing way below their age range.

    3. Forget about choreography in this mv, in their previous mv's all choreography are easy pick up, not to heavy plus they don't overshadow the whole concept of their song which is so much important :)

    Love to read ur review on Spica :)