And now for something completely incredible: My beloved BoA is back.
“Only One,” which was written and composed by BoA herself (!), is the international superstar’s first Korean-language single since “Copy & Paste,” released back in September of 2010…and it’s a complete and utter breath of fresh air.
Mercifully avoiding the ever-fashionable electro-pop shtick that’s been done to death for the past five years or so (especially in the K-Pop realm), “Only One” is a poignant midtempo that veers far, far away from synthesizer overload, instead relying on a gentle guitar strum, a soft piano melody (which bears a strong resemblance to Utada Hikaru‘s “Stay Gold”), a hip-hop strut, airy strings and, of course, BoA’s unbelievable vocal skills.
It’s the kind of pure pop that first launched BoA to superstardom just over a decade ago–but with a decidedly more mature edge, both lyrically and musically speaking. (“We awkwardly sit across each other, making small talk and asking what’s new/The moments when the conversation stop for a moment, the cold silence freezes us,” the lyrics roughly translate.)
The video itself feels like a throwback to BoA’s early career as well (think “Shine We Are”!), as the supremely talented K-Pop Queen turns out some major dance moves (crafted by So You Think You Can Dance choreographers, Nappytabs) on the street with her team of dancers. As the song goes on, the choreography only gets more intense: At the 3:30 mark, BoA and her dancers join together for some incredible arm-in-arm synchronized action, like a cross between Brit Brit‘s “Circus” and Rihanna‘s “Where Have You Been.” It’s mesmerizing!
Honestly, this song is one of my favorite things BoA’s done in years. And if this is how her upcoming record Only One–due out later this week–is going to sound, she’s bound to dominate the K-Pop charts once again.
“Only One” will be released on July 22. (iTunes)