Reviewish: Brave Girls – “High Heels” Falls Flat

brave girls high heels.jpg

Following up their strong comeback/debut “Deepened” (because, let’s be real, it was pretty much a debut for a completely new group), Brave Girls is back with footwear fetish anthem “High Heels,” a song that sounds disappointingly dull and is combined with a video that lacks an imaginative spark to make up for it.

The main problem with “High Heels” is that most every facet of it refuses to go at any other speed than neutral. The beat bops along at a brisk march, courtesy of a rapping snare and a bass line but that aural backbone overwhelms the horns and riffs that could have given “High Heels” some much needed flavor (blame the mixing on this one). This problem is compounded by the vocals which are auto-tuned enough to blend right into a single that already has problems with sounding like one long mashed note. None of the singers are given a chance to stand out with the exception of Hyeran who provides some much needed burst with her rap. Add in a chorus and a hook that simply aren’t as catchy as a fluff pop song like this requires, and you have a song that desperately wants to be a quirky, fun, summer pop number but simply doesn’t convey the joy or build the elation necessary to pull it off.

“High Heels” tries to compensate for its oddly flat song with visual manic pixie girl overload. Trying to be both cute and sexy, the video doesn’t achieve either as well as it could have if it had simply committed to one trope over the other. While “High Heels” gets some good marks for mostly ignoring the old dance in a box trope (compared to the bare bones effort of their previous comeback, “High Heels” looks damn opulent), the resulting scenes lack a cohesion that would have made “High Heels” a more interesting watch. Instead, viewers are treated to disparate scenes that are only loosely tied together by shoes and the comeback’s desperate efforts to get each member of Brave Girls dressed up in a different hot outfit (with the exception of Hyeran’s hilariously awkward boob-cut baseball uni and Hayoon’s bunny getup) which ends up looking like an homage to, if not ripped straight from the playbook of, AOA and TWICE. The resulting video is definitely not awful (the decision to prominently feature Yoojung at every opportunity is a wise one that should garner some sort of humanitarian award) but it is also not very memorable, specifically because the “disparate and random but oh so sexy costumes that have nothing to do with each other” route has been done more successfully before by groups with much larger followings. Ironically, “Deepened” with its athleisure outfits and slow-jam R&B leanings is far more impactful than “High Heels” because it bucked so many of the trends that “High Heels” tries to revel in.

I probably like ‘High Heels” more than this review reflects, but there is little doubt in my mind that it represents a step back for Brave Girls after “Deepened.” The comeback is just a tad too visually derivative and aurally monotonous to fully enjoy. On the bright side… at least this comeback brought more Yoojung. That’s undoubtedly a Good Thing.

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7 comments

  1. Ouch, that was a bit harsh 🙂 I agree ‘Deepened’ was better. It improves with listening and is turning out to be one of my favourite tracks of late.
    ‘High Heels’ appears to have been conceived to generate buzz. The song could’ve been better as it’s more an extended 3min long jingle than a track. However, I think the entire project mostly meets K-Pop’s standard of a Pop single, and the benchmark of sexy plus cute.
    The girls look like they had fun making the MV. Even the backup dancers were cutting loose (that bloke in them heels).
    I’m just glad Brave Entertainment continues to promote the group. Yes, more of Yoojung is always a very good thing. Here’s the ‘dance version’ of the MV.

    1. It just reminds me too much of other acts who did this better. I actually like Brave Brothers slower R&Bish tunes. The production company’s dance pop efforts are pretty sub-par in comparison.

  2. You would think when the group has your name on it, you would put your best work in its hands and not give it anything less than true hit potential material. Does he actually expect to make money somehow with this group? T&A can only take you so far. At some point you have to have a song that sticks around and isn’t forgotten on the K-pop treadmill after a few days. Brave Brothers can do better. He’s written plenty of hits for other acts. Why isn’t he stepping up his game with this group.

    1. You give the man too much credit. Some of the ‘brave sound’ stuff out that are mediocre, bordering on bad.

    2. Brave Brothers can be pretty hit or miss (and I say that as a Brave Brothers fan). His stuff with 4Minute was neigh unforgivable.

      1. Besides ‘Deepened’, the rest of the songs on the short album were surprising enjoyable. I enjoyed ‘Help Me’ & ‘Don’t Meet’.
        BTW, I’m surprised you’ve not reviewed EXID’s ‘L.I.E’ which I thought were much better than their last effort. That album is also pretty good. Watching LE cry uncontrollable when they won on Show Champion was priceless.

  3. Presenting the Disney Princesses dance video version. Holy-Yuna-Tinkerbell !!

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