Jan 9, 2017
Double Up With AOA's "Bing Bing" And "Excuse Me"
It actually quite bums me out that AOA's comeback with "Good Luck" last year got slightly buried by Jimin and Seolhyun's lack-of-history-knowledge scandal because it was a good comeback. I liked the song, the MV and the mini-album, a rare occurrence with this group as they generally have quite underwhelming title tracks (blame it on Brave Brothers). That's why my expectations for this comeback were quite high, also as a result of thinking that FNC would want to release something out of the ordinary to bring some positive buzz back to the group. The way this was made was by releasing double title tracks "Excuse Me" and "Bing Bing", which is a risky move since very few groups can chart well with two releases at the same time. So far AOA has been charting terribly, which is unlike them since even their most generic titles have charted well before, but I personally wouldn't call this comeback unsuccessful.
"Excuse Me" is the song that has been doing slightly better than the other and is also my personal out of the two. To my surprise this was actually the song that Brave Brothers composed for them (together with the CEO of FNC among others) which truly is a shock because it doesn't have that typical "Brave Brothers sound" at all but a completely different vibe. It might be due to the fact that there are more people credited compared to his other work where it's mainly just him, but it still caught me by surprise.
What I like the most about this song is the electropop beat that remins me a bit of 90's euro-dance music, which I definitely dig. It doesn't sound too much like a conventional K-pop song but instead has its own flavor and style. The chorus and the hook of "excuse me, cuse me" is without question the highlight of the song and what made me like it, and the verses sound fine too. The only part I'm skeptical about is the rap break-down before the final chorus, as it feels out-of-touch with the sound of the rest of the song and suddenly changes the genre, but it's relatively short so I can bear through it.
The MV is yet another take of "AOA tries out various occupations" which is a theme I find a bit funny but also endearing. So far they've been everything from thieves to lacrosse players and lifeguards (and everything that made up "Short Hair"), and now they're testing the waters as detectives. From what I can gather the girls are on some kind of mission to track down a particular mysterious man, and all of them help out in different ways. Mina searches his place, Hyejeong tracks his phone calls and Jimin gathers fingerprints, and all of this to find out what this man is up to.
Unfortunately though there's no real conclusion to the story as it ends with Seolhyun interrogating him and the reveals his face, but it's never clear as to why he was chased or what his deal was. Nonetheless it's an entertaining video and like with all plot-based AOA MV's it's not meant to be too intricate and logical, which is why I still like it. The choreography is also worth mentioning and especially it's key point during the chorus. It's a bit silly-looking but at the same time quite cute and definitely memorable. The rest of the dance is however, a bit of a bore.
"Bing Bing" is my least favorite out of the two despite it being a perfectly decent song. This does sound a bit more like something you would expect from AOA, and by that I mean that it's nothing new or original. It's definitely sultry and sexy and has a good chorus, but it's at the same time very predictable, which takes away some of the charm. I do like the bride before the chorus and the actual chorus isn't too bad either, but I have a serious problem with the insertion of Jimin ad-libs every 5 seconds. I can take her voice in small doses, but I'm not a fan when it's used like this and placed throughout the entire song. Overall I think "Bing Bing" is an OK song but a bit to bland for my taste.
The video is definitely features more upfront sexiness compared to "Excuse Me" and also less plot, and although it's well-made and very pretty it's also a tad forgettable. The theme for this video is magic it seems, as the girls now are also acting as magicians and acting out various tricks in front of the camera, all while simultaneously doing their best job at seducing the viewer through the lens. There isn't much substance despite having an interesting theme, as most of the MV consists of either dance sequences, close-ups or full-body shots. All of them look gorgeous of course and I do like the styling here better than in the other MV, but it does leave me a bit underwhelmed.