As a sort of confession to start things off, my recollection of G.NA’s discography is usually fleeting. Whenever a G.NA track comes up, my reaction is often two-fold:
a) I’m surprised that it’s G.NA as she isn’t a solo artist who I think about much.
b) I like it more often than not.
G.NA’s latest single is unlikely to change either of those two reactions. ‘G.NA’s Secret’ is solidly made, well executed, pleasantly digestible and easily forgotten.
‘G.NA’s Secret’ is a straight-forward, light summer pop song. Keys bounce joyfully and the percussion and bass are amped up as a nice counter-balance to ensure that the beat is rich enough to sound polished. Transitions between choruses and verses thankfully don’t break so much as they bleed together into one extremely smooth sound. The lack of a dubstep, trap or rap breakdown is welcomed because ‘G.NA’s Secret’ isn’t trying to be exciting or edgy. It wants to slay with pillows, not guns. Towards achieving that, G.NA’s voice works wonders here. Her soft and high delivery accentuates the cute atmosphere that the beat works to create. The illusion of effortlessness is critical towards any cheerful summer ditty and G.NA nails it with ‘G.NA’s Secret’.
The video doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel but it utilizes K-Pop’s various well-worn tropes to it’s advantage. The impossibly white bedroom set with impossibly Hallmark-white lighting are off-set by some nice pastel colors. Pink is an obvious color choice for a “cute” video but the color helps to visually unify ‘G.NA’s Secret’ without being too overbearing. The “outdoor” set piece is borderline Sesame Street levels of cheap but the artifice comes off as charming, especially considering the production and the fact that G.NA has the freaking Easter Bunny handing out invitations to her house party.
The dance is pretty simplistic (from what can be seen here) but it flows out of the ease with which ‘G.NA’s Secret’ operates. The only slight knock on the presentation of it all is that the backup dancers sometimes overshadow G.NA through no fault of her own. White shorts and tied-up pink and blue button up shirts are more attention grabbing than a light yellow dress and it’s a little too easy to lose focus on who the star is sometimes.
There are a couple of other small issues, though nothing that’s a deal breaker. The storyline is thin, even by K-Pop standards. Girl likes guy, invites guy to party, gets dressed up for said party, guy notices said girl and then everyone
has a massive orgy bats balloons around for awhile. There’s also a slight detour where a shopping assistant goes straight up creepy voyeur on G.NA that is played for laughs, something which plainly registers as uncomfortable and is almost enough to derail a very competently made music video.
Luckily, it’s the only misstep that ‘G.NA’s Secret’ makes and the rest helps more than make up for it.
‘G.NA’s Secret’ isn’t looking to revolutionize music but there’s a place for pleasing and comfortably unoffensive and non-challenging music and G.NA’s most recent effort definitely fits that bill. If that sounds like damning faint praise, it isn’t. It can be easy to fall for the temptation of going overboard with cuteness (much of Girl’s Day pre-‘Don’t Forget Me’) or trying to undercut sentimentality with unnecessary edginess (think 2NE1’s “Falling in Love”). While a lot of K-Pop productions seem to be aiming for some sort of genre singularity which encompasses all that pop music has to offer in one three and half minute track, ‘G.NA’s Secret’ plays it straight and that clarity is to be admired. Like a lazy spring afternoon basking in the sun, ‘G.NA’s Secret’ is soothing but you’ll probably have a hard time recalling it months from now and that’s just fine.