[Year-End Special] AOA – 사뿐사뿐 (Like a Cat)

“I’m good I’m hot I’m fresh I’m fly! Brave Sound~” Oh boy, you know what that means.

However, if “Sticky Sticky” was the McChicken of BB’s menu, “Like a Cat” would be one of those premium 100% Angus beef menu options. There’s still that crisp, top-notch BB sheen on the production of this track but the difference here is that AOA has competent to above par singers and an interesting pool of talents to tap into and that BB actually put a little more TLC into this one.

The BB charm is undeniable in this track but AOA truly owns the track. This is mostly because of their previous string of successes in “Miniskirt” and, to a lesser extent, “Short Hair”. After getting that spotlight because of two solid BB-produced songs, a third one by BB just feels right and just so “AOA”. And I think that is what AOA has been striving for since the very beginning – a consistent sound. They dabbled in standard retro pop fare and in performing live with instruments but none of it sounded consistent. With this year’s releases, AOA finally has a consistently sexy and fierce throughline to work with.

“Like a Cat”, with its fresh and current sound and thematically appropriate sexy theme, is the track that secured AOA with not only a first-place win at a music show in a very long while but also secured their future as a contender for a spot in the higher tiers of K-pop.

Report Card

Concept: B-

I really like the sexy spy girls concept and I really enjoyed what they were going for as the plot in the music video. The fact that they even had a plot is commendable enough. However, there were way too many ridiculous details in the video that the MV turned me off a little. Firstly, the product placement was poorly executed – what spy would forget to close the vent after dropping a sleeping gas bomb because they were too busy playing a game on their phone? What spy would play with the same game on their phone while their buddy tries to break into a safe? Oh, don’t mind me, you do you, boo, and I’ll keep playing this game that we’re supposed to be promoting. Secondly, why would they be carrying guns, only to use them to knock out their enemies at the very end? And why oh why are they going through all this trouble for a mere paperweight? The music video is clumsy at best and the aesthetics are equally as clumsy (what is with that gangsta cat?).

Cohesion: B+

The cat theme runs throughout every facet of this release and I love how the song’s instrumentation is sexy but edgy, coinciding with how the girls are supposed to be sexy and edgy as well. This was a very well-packaged release.

Execution: B

ChoA slays in this track as always but the other girls hold their own too. Line distribution is still skewed in favor of main vocalists (mostly in favor of ChoA though) but I don’t mind – let the real singers do their thing. Jimin’s nasality is not a huge deal breaker in this song and she definitely tones it down in “Like a Cat”. Instrumental choices are appropriately lively, edgy, and interesting.

Final Grade: B

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