The past year hasn’t been the kindest for (G)I-DLE. After a relatively successful comeback with January’s Hwaa, the group was embroiled in a number of scandals, with an especially bad one concerning member Soojin who eventually was forced to leave the group. As a result, new single Tomboy sees the girls return one member short with a track that undercuts its potential thanks to some interesting production choices.
There are moments during Tomboy where the track really soars. Every time Yuqi or Miyeon enter the fray, it feels like the track is really opening up. I love both of their vocal tones and each of their verses just elevate whatever areas of the track they are in. The expansive pre chorus and attitude infused verses are particular highlights, expertly conveying a freewheeling punk rock energy that’s accentuated by the tracks addictive instrumental backbone. But Tomboy really comes to life during its instrumental chorus, which feels effortlessly cool whilst also injecting a necessary amount of grit into the mix. It’s a great subversion of many of modern K-pop’s drops and while I would have loved to see it coupled with an addictive melodic refrain, it’s honestly very enjoyable as a standalone centrepiece.
But the main thing that limits Tomboy from reaching its full potential is the same thing that’s holding so many other tracks back this year. And that’s its reluctance to just let loose. Soyeon’s rap verses this time around feel limp and uncessary, lacking the energy and/or the charisma of her past efforts, somthing which lets the overall product down quite a bit. The same goes for the tracks climax, which kind of just fizzles out without leaving a lasting impression or building to a head. And because of this I don’t think that Tomboy is nearly as memorable as it could have been. Which is a shame because I really wanted to love this. But I guess I’ll have to settle for just ‘liking’ it.
Final Rating: 8.25 / 10