Nature are one of those groups that I knew existed but never really payed attention to. I enjoyed their debut and last years I’m So Pretty was fun but I felt like all their other singles were pretty forgettable. The group have gone through a number of conceptual changes but have always stuck to a more upbeat template, which I can appreciate. However, that changes with the release of Girls (어린애) which takes the group down a darker, more melodic route with to surprisingly solid effect.
Right off the bat the track has heavy second generation kpop vibes. It feels like a long lost VIXX single reimagined in 2020’s Trap and EDM heavy soundscape. Now this might sound like like a less than impressive comparison but it’s actually a compliment. The electro throb that underlines the verses is incredibly effective making sure the track maintains its momentum throughout. This was a very common production choice during the mid 2010’s and i’m glad that this approach is being revisited here. It’s much more effective and enjoyable than the trap laced builds we get in most of 2020. I love how the groups evocative vocals wrap around the production to create a really sinister atmosphere, vastly improving how engaging it feels.
While I would have preferred a full throated hook, I think the instrumental drop here works pretty well. It fells like climactic and works just fine as a centrepiece, though I believe it a chorus would have really sent it soaring. But since it’s 2020, you just can’t run away from trap. While the post chorus hook does bring a jarring yet interesting shift in tone, it’s probably the only part of the track which I feel confronted about. The ”hot like chilli chilli” is a fun and wonderfully quotable line but the overall arrangement here feels too generic in comparison to the rest of the track. Thankfully, the rest of the track has enough tricks in its bag to keep itself interesting. In an era of cut and paste comebacks, Girls is an oddly refreshing comeback that makes great use of its horror aesthetic to gift us something that would feel right at home in 2014.
Final Rating: 8.25 / 10