AOA - Bingle Bangle
AOA is a six-member girl group under FNC Entertainment. After the main vocalist, ChoA, left the group nearly a year ago, I grew a bit worried for the group's future. She was a key component that added a lot of flavor and texture to their songs with her unique voice, and without that I was unsure of where the group might go. Still, I hoped for the best and wanted the best from a group that I truly used to enjoy, though their more recent comebacks have left me wanting. Seeing the teasers for this song didn't really help my excitement and/or worry, but I still went in with high hopes.
My biggest worries with the teasers for this comeback was that I felt there was very little edge to the song, which is something that I attributed to AOA after they had found their groove. There was often a very matured sound to their music, or something to give it that extra bit of bite, and the teasers seemed like a very large departure from that. After having listened to the song in full, I'm sad to say that the teasers painted a very accurate portrayal of the final product as well.
"Bingle Bangle" has all the markings of a summer jam - bright guitars, cheerful horns, and an easy to follow drum march. However, all of that just felt a bit flat to me. It came off as more by the numbers than anything, and I just couldn't find myself getting into it. I have no doubts that there will be plenty of people that love this song and find it fun and catchy, but it really just felt too generic for myself. If you're into annoyingly catchy whistles being the main hook of a song, then you'll definitely be enjoying this one.
As one might have drawn from the concept teasers, this video essentially is about the girls having to play out as video game characters. Before we really get into it, I just have to say that I'm confused as to why Mina is playing a Gamecube but everything in the game world is done with a heavy pixel graphics style. The graphics back then weren't that bad. There really isn't much more to the video other than that in terms of a story, so I'll just leave it at that.
The colors match the song with vivid and saturated styles, and I actually really liked the styling in terms of outfits and color palettes. They were definitely something that reminded me of Red Velvet's "Red Flavor," but hey - that was the biggest summer smash of last year, so why wouldn't they go for something similar. I don't really know if the video game aesthetics matched the song or did much for me in the end, but eh, at least they went for a concept that hasn't been overly utilized yet.
This comeback really didn't do much to persuade me that ChoA's departure from the group would end up becoming a massive hole that the other girls just couldn't fill. It's a very clear attempt at pulling away from the familiar sounds that garnered them fans over the years, and while I'm all for that, this attempt just didn't work for me. As I said earlier, if you're into hooks that rely entirely on whistling, this is going to be your go to for the summer. Otherwise, I'm not sure that I can recommend this one.