T-ara’s reign of dominance when it comes to EDM music and slower ballads has quietly (somehow) been unparalleled in K-Pop in the past few years. “Lovey-Dovey,” “Day By Day,” “Sexy Love,” “Number Nine” and “Do You Know Me” are all fantastic singles and it has been almost a year since T-ara released the flawless “Sugar Free,” a song of which I may have not gushed enough about when it first came out (screw that video for eternity though). Unfortunately, T-ara’s most recent single “So Crazy” represents a step back for T-ara, as the more standard pop song is nowhere near as wild or crazy as the comeback’s title would suggest.
The buildup for “So Crazy” is actually quite nice. A bouncy horn section and assertive snare provide “So Crazy” with some crisp and funky energy up front. The opening verses are solid thanks to the combined mixture of Brave Brothers’ brisk beat and T-ara’s ability to squeeze as much sly character as they can out of their overly polished vocals. However, after laying that impressive foundation down, “So Crazy” stalls. The choruses don’t do enough to differentiate themselves from the verses in terms of instrumentals or vocal delivery as the processing of the vocals makes the entire song bleed together in a somewhat monotonous fashion. Hyomin and Qri provide a brisk and lively rap-esque break but that’s the one point after the intro where “So Crazy” springs to life. T-ara often goes for aggressively produced vocals for their faster-paced singles but they are usually backed by an equally aggressive beat and “So Crazy” is definitely more measured than frantic. Add in a subpar hook and you have a song that isn’t a disaster but isn’t a knockout either.
The video fares slightly better. Yes, it is basic (especially by T-ara’s sometimes high, sometimes bottom barrel standards).Yes, it overly relies on the can’t miss opportunity to have T-ara dress up as sexy sailors. But a “can’t miss opportunity” is a “can’t miss opportunity” and T-ara doesn’t miss. The plot sets are pretty well-constructed as the impossibly sleek coffee shop-dinner look is spot on. The individual glamour shots that are usually used as filler in standard dance-in-a-box videos are smartly integrated into the Miss T-ara competition part of “So Crazy.” T-ara’s wardrobe and makeup are unsurprisingly flawless. The sailor outfit concept may have been done before to similar great effect (hello “Genie” and “Loving U“) but there’s no denying that Eunjung, Jiyeon, Hyomin, Qri and Soyeon maximize the appeal of the look. The choreography is similarly not that imaginative as it seems to hinge on hip shakes and fingers raises but it also features stuff like this, which is impossible to critique in any rational manner:
“So Crazy” isn’t bad or even mediocre. It’s just average. The song has some moments but the Brave Brothers beat doesn’t provide many highlight moments and the hook isn’t particularly catchy. The video is hnnngggg-erific but that’s something that has been assured since T-ara dropped those godly teaser images last week. The sailor outfits do so much work but “So Crazy” simply isn’t at the level of what T-ara has put out for the past three years.