AOA – BINGLE BANGLE
1. Bingle Bangle *Title
2. Super Duper
4. Ladi Dadi
AOA is coming back, sadly this time without singer ChoA. It's been 17 months, and their much-awaited EP 'Bingle Bangle' is finally here. There are six tracks on this disc, which incidentally matches the number of girls currently. Their title track is already climbing the charts.
"Bingle Bangle" starts with a very familiar whistle, and what sounds like a brass arrangement. It's a bit different than their usual fare, it's got a little more cuteness to it, and a bounce that really leaves you with a good feeling. "Super Duper" gives you the R&B vibes, and is one of their smoother tunes, with silky harmonies, and a chorus that matches the tune perfectly -- yet still remains exciting. Jimin's trademark raps are softer here, and they are just as perfect as ever. "HEAT" slows it down some, with an acoustic guitar, and there are just killer harmonies on this one. It's a very pretty tune, very soft pop and just warm fluffy feelings on this one.
The silly titled "Ladi Dadi" is actually a good jam. There's a nice pounding beat on this one, and they kill it here, from the vocals to Jimin's awesome raps. It's a sweet pop confection, and they serve it up with a cherry on top. Speaking of sweet, "Parfait" is even sweeter, if possible. It's very much in the "cute" camp, which is not a bad thing. In fact, it's different for AOA. I could hear some echoes of TWICE and PRISTIN in this song. "Dododo" has more of those R&B stylings, but done in AOA's signature style. They have some great breaks here, and it's just catchy as all get out. It's a fantastic summer bop.
I wasn't sure what to expect, as AOA had kind of fallen into a by the numbers style which worked initially but could get stale after a time. These songs are 100% fresh. Catchy (and in one case cute), they are quite well done. I also despaired because ChoA was no longer with the group. But like a phoenix from the ashes, they're back again, and possibly better than ever.
The girls of AOA are characters in a computer game. The MV fuses 8-bit video game animations and sprites in with the real-life girls themselves. A fun bit is when they look in a mirror and a video game character looks back at that. It's cute affair as hearts, musical notes, wings, and all sorts of things hover, attach themselves to, or fly around the girls. It's all done pretty seamlessly, too. And the MV has a surprise ending.
The dancing is not bad. Not the most amazing thing I've seen, but a lot better than what I'd seen from them previously. Eventually, they were barely moving, maybe swinging their hips. Not here. You've still got the butt shaking thing going, but they're a lot more animated (no pun intended) and have more involved choreo in this comeback.
This is cute, harmless fun; it's also quite a change from their usually sexy comebacks -- though I can't deny they look amazing. Frankly, incredibly sexy can become banal when it's at your fingertips 24/7. I prefer MVs like this that amuse and surprise.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0