With the burgeoning growth of K-pop in its current state, many newer fans are unaware of many of the genres past classics. That’s why I will be taking a look back at some of K-pop’s most exciting and iconic tracks that were released before the conception of this blog to shed some light on this now bygone time.
Year Released: 2018
In honour of IWD aka International Women’s Day (not I Will Dominate as some league fans (me) might initially think), I thought I would do a special retro rewind on one of my favourite “woman” themed k-pop songs. And while many modern day girl group themed tracks aim for the “girl empowerment” sound, few ever manage to meld the message with a track that feels complementary. And so after going through my many playlists, there was only really one song that fit the bill. And that of course was BoA’s immense Woman.
I remember when Woman came out in 2018 and took the entire k-pop world by surprise for the next few weeks. It was a stunning reinvention for BoA, pulsing with a newfound, unparalleled sense of confidence that called back to her peak era whilst still retaining a sleek, modern sheen.
Opening with nothing but the sound of heels hitting on the floor, emulating the sound of a poised, incredibly confident strut, Woman knows how to immediately make an impression. The absolutey filthy bass line arrives next, introduced by the oft repeated ‘woman’ sample that makes its first appearance. These elements together create a stunning opening few seconds, buoyed by a production that knows how to elicit the most from each of its elements to create an excellent listening experience. BoA doesn’t come in until the 15 second mark, making her entrance even more impactful. She immediately takes hold, commanding every single second of the track as it builds to its crowning moment.
Woman really shows up to the party during its chorus, which completely flips expectations and explodes into a soaring centrepiece that’s once again introduced by the titular Woman sample. The usage of this sample is especially great throughout the track, using it as much as a refresh button as an instantly memorable hook. The melody is refreshing, cool and empowering all at once, acting as the perfect representation of why and how BoA has managed to stay such a huge name for so many years. And because of this, Woman never loses its steam after the first chorus, it keeps pulsing forward, building on its excellent opening third to create an immensely satisfying listening experience. Woman isn’t a track that’s trying too hard to be “cool” or “powerful” . It just is.
Final Rating: 9.25 / 10