Inspired to post this not just because I adore it, but also 'cause 67seven52 called "athletic R&B" his new favorite phrase. On this track, Miss A obviously put a lot of work into something that you'd think would feel light as a feather. Maybe if they'd put even more work into it, it would have actually seemed as light as that, and the effort would have been invisible. The sweat and strenuousness make it charming anyway, or make it especially charming, the performers give so much. Also love the way the song's love object, some guy over whom the girls are supposedly left breathless, is just a pretext for a bunch of clowning and panting, more a group bonding thing than an infatuation.
I want to know where the style of that intro to the chorus comes from, the one that starts the song and that recurs in front of the second verse and whenever the chorus reappears. Sounds like Verdi, or operetta, or Gilbert & Sullivan. Should ask Jonathan Bogart. Excellent for the way it throws gossamer and confetti over the basic squealing-brake techno 'n' r&b that follows. And then the live routine pulls a hilarious variation on the James Brown collapse-and-revival routine (starts at 3:27). (Song's producer, Park Jin-young, is obviously a big James Brown fan.)
As for the athleticism, it's not just the look and the sound, that the performers are well-rehearsed, fit, and put on highly physical show. The whole idol system in Korea, at least from my meager understanding of it, makes me think of how athletes are developed in the U.S. Young performers hire out to the record companies as trainees, sometimes waiting for several years before they get to be members of groups. I talked a little about this online with Tari, anhh, and Mat last November. I get the sense that performers are treated like potential tennis or gymnastics stars, which can be good if they make it but I also think of all those college athletes in the U.S. who bring attention and money to their schools while getting little recompense or actual education. Mat reports that the Korean government is starting to put labor laws into effect "to protect young entertainers against ruthless hours under unfair contracts, ensuring the right to school time etc."
In the meantime, as Min's shoe goes flying, she gamely carries on:
Here's the studio version.