Review: Wonder Girls – “I Feel You” Is The Best Thing Since The Invention Of Things

wonder girls rebbot

After a July that was packed full of releases from some of the biggest names in K-Pop, the Wonder Girls have returned after a long hiatus to blow everyone and everything away with their triumphant comeback as a band in “I Feel You.”

For all the hype and attention that has been paid attention to the band concept (the teasers should forever be enshrined in some music hall of fame), the element of “I Feel You” that stands out the most is the mixing of the vocals. The wonderfully retro synth riff that sounds like it belongs in an 80’s Eddie Murphy movie would be pretty enjoyable on its own but the Wonder Girls make it their own by inserting a subtly sexy delivery into the dance music through a mixture of well-sung vocals and production that smartly leaves things well-enough alone. The inclusion of the vocalists’ breaths and rasps adds a whole layer of richness to a track that is lacking in strong, organic sound and the results are incredibly impactful (I could probably listen to Sunmi’s lines on repeat for the rest of my life). The instrumentals may be nice but it’s Sunmi, Yeeun and Hyelim’s vocals that provide the meat of “I Feel You.”

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

The video for “I Feel You” is similarly smartly put together. The 80’s motif that is unmistakable in the song is fully realized in every detail in the video, from the cheeky “WTV” watermark at the start of the video to the slightly grainy filters to the Miami Vice florescent pink lighting. Even the relative flatness of the camera angles recalls a more primitive era in all of its cheesy glory. As for visual impact, the Wonder Girls apparently ran out of mercy deposits because the amount of ruthlessness on display in “I Feel You” is viscous. The red one-piece swimsuits that the members gloriously rock are equal parts Baywatch (which first aired during the tail end of the 80s, not that I’m complaining) and modern day sexy K-Pop, a rare instance where a sexy wardrobe isn’t being deployed solely for sexiness sake but for the thematic motif of the comeback. The black pieces with teal and pink accents as well as the teal pieces with black and pink accents also heavily recall color templates that are ubiquitous with eighties fashion. The choreography, as basic and restricted as it is due to the instruments that the Wonder Girls carry around, fully takes advantage of the Wonder Girls’ impossibly long legs to get the most out of the “performance” aspects of “I Feel You.” There isn’t much to say about the members themselves.They look flawless. Sunmi is so improbably stunning that it doesn’t seem quite right that she exists in our universe. And Yubin. YUBIN.

YUUUUUUBBBBBIIINNNN

YUUUUUUBBBBBIIINNNN

The entire video could have been this gif on repeat and it would still earn high marks for its awesomeness. The fact that the full video also happens to be incredible is icing on the cake.

“I Feel You” is the music video of the summer. The entire concept is a slavish throwback to the eighties but it isn’t lazily done as there isn’t an aspect that feels “off” in the homage. The Wonder Girls sound great, they look SO FLAWLESS I COULD DIE great and the band concept is skillfully integrated, even if it’s not as prominent as the hooplah that surrounded the “reboot” would suggest. “I Feel You” is pretty close to perfect and amazingly, it’s not just because of the fact that Yubin is playing drums (but for real, Yubin playing drums is the best).

yubin drums

I bet any chucklehead who doubted this concept is feeling pretty damn foolish right about now.

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9 comments

  1. All I could think of was montage background music from every late 80s early 90s flick. Or the musical number from Revenge of the Nerds. Or maybe Taylor Dayne’s Tell it to Your Heart or whatever. Anyway, I’m not as gaga over this as you, but one thing I agree on is that last gif. Yubin on those electro drums is sheer genius.

  2. rohaniyerdxb · · Reply

    I like it. A lot.
    It’s a refreshing sound (in K-Pop) and has been well executed. The music video is gorgeous (as are the girls). Though it doesn’t surprise me to see JYP make something so polished and yet ‘global’ at the same time (vs SM who mostly makes polished but generic stuff).

    And lastly – GOOD GOD YUBIN! WOWOWOW.

  3. They look really good in the video, even Lim who I always thought looked quite awkward in her previous appearances. Surprisingly the rest of the album is thematically consistent musically, which is quite unusual for a K-pop album.

  4. Horrible. 80’s pop was terrible. Those horrible keyboards and synthesizers… ugh… I was waiting for it to switch into 80s rock mode, but it never happened. 80s pop should be forgotten, but 80s rock… that’s classic. JYP definitely dropped the ball. The video was god-awful as well. The blank stares of the girls was terrible. The brief shots of them smiling were not enough to make up for it. It’s truly a disservice to the Wonder Girls and their fans.

  5. I have to agree with JaySee. That was awful. I lived thru the 80’s & that synth sound was bad then. It’s even worse now.

    What’s even more dissapointing is that this has so little to do with the “band” concept. There was more “music” & percussion playing than the girls were even pretending to play…. the instruments were more like fashion accessories.

    Yes, the girls looked good. Especially Yubin & her assets.

    Here’s hoping that there are better tracks yet to be revealed which will redeem them & the concept. (something like what was in the teasers, maybe? Please?). Although if kood has heard the whole album & is right, then really, WTF JYP?

    1. Judging by the album teaser, it’s all garbage.

    2. Also, speaking of 80s synth garbage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozoTzkCeO-A

      The 80s did not age well. JYP is an idiot for this concept. The only 80s music genre that didn’t suck was rock.

  6. If this story can be trusted, it looks like this change to a band concept is permanent.

    http://www.koreatimesus.com/wonder-girls-say-their-rock-band-concept-is-permanent/

    Okay, I can’t do this with a straight face. A “band” concept? LOL.

    Bad 80’s music is still just as bad today as it was then. If you want good Kpop, check out T-ara’s “So Crazy”. Good stuff.

  7. Wonder girls band practice:

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