written by: lolpenny
We all knew this was coming. It was evident when they chose to promote “Be My Baby” and “Girls” instead of “Me, In” and “Stop!” But just because we were aware of the distinct possibility doesn’t mean we were prepared once the hot mess arrived.
So, armed with a mini album full of chill summer beats and a new wardrobe from Forever 21, pioneer girl group, Wonder Girls, has returned to the music scene. And thus delivered onto the masses is Wonder Party.
It begins with the lackluster track that is “R.E.A.L.” The major theme, as far as I can tell, is that their love is like a strawberry as opposed to Doritos. Their loss, really. With the relaxed tempo and Garage Band beats, “R.E.A.L.” is clearly designed to show off the rapping talents of Yubin and Lim. But since Yubin’s delivery is about as smooth as swallowing gravel and Lim is as standout as beige paint in a hotel hallway, the song is irritating at parts and dull as a whole.
Pulling off this brand of grunge lite takes a level nonchalance that the Wonder Girls, JYP, and mainstream K-pop do not have in abundance. Rather than with a bang, “R.E.A.L.” starts the album off with a sigh.
This whole Wonder Girls comeback thing really took me by surprise, partially because I thought they disappeared with the Jonas Brothers’ career but also because “Like This,” the promotional single, is on par with most CF ditties. The progression is not engaging, the repetitive chorus cascades over everything else, and in response Sunye and Yeeun scream their notes to excess.
But despite all of this there is a moment when the laid back tempo collides with the melodious, chants and pretty adlibs in an explosion of pop poignancy. The pre chorus makes major strides to make the whole song worth it, until “ready, set, go,” it reverts to the same redundancy as before.
At this point the interesting part of the mini album is over.
There are still three more songs each more monotonous and superfluous than the last. “Girlfriend” tries really hard to sound too indie for this scene with minimalist acoustic guitar and live session-esque percussion, but misses the mark around the time Yubin pouts through her lines. The dated guitars don’t help much either.
I like to think that “Sorry,” the penultimate track, is an apology for the album as a whole, to which I graciously accept.
‘Wonder Party‘ would be tolerable, appropriate even, if it were the product of a new group backed by a fledgling company. But this is the freaking Wonder Girls, the girls who were thrown to the wolves in America and came out the other side. Their previous project ‘Wonder World‘ was one of the best K-Pop albums of all time and seeing ‘Wonder Party‘ as the punch line to that is nothing but disappointing.
| Points scale
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
|The DJ Is Mine||
Points to stars conversion: [(3.25/6) x 5] + 0.25*
*there is a 0.25 bonus for every album. The logic is that, if every song were “pretty good”, it’s a 4-star album.