“Cuz if you gon’ be mine, you don’t have to take your time”
Anda (formerly Andamiro) has always been known for her risqué concepts so, musically, “Touch” was not exactly coming from left field from her. What was coming from left field from her was the fact that the object of her sexual gaze was female.
The MV did not rouse the controversy nor the attention in Korea as she was probably expecting and hoping for but certainly, as an international K-pop fan, I was pleasantly surprised by how the MV went against heteronormativity, something that is deeply entrenched and firmly cemented into Korean culture. Needless to say, the MV was scandalous and very interesting, what with the looping effects and leg spreading and whatnot.
Musically, “Touch” has a hard hitting hip hop beat but remains one-note all the way through. It had the makings of a banger but somewhere along the way, the producer chickened out and turned the knob down from 5 to 2. As a result, the drops didn’t lead to comparable payoffs and the song just flatlined until the bridge, that was still tame, which is a shame for a song with such an interesting MV. Still, you gotta appreciate the cheeky lyrics and what really saved the song was the accompanying fun choreography (which, I took the liberty of learning during my free time before Korean class while I was in Korea).
The song may not be greatest and the video may rub the wrong way to viewers who still have the sexual maturity of a ten year-old (and, trust me, those viewers come in droves in the K-pop community, both in Korea and abroad), but “Touch” will always be iconic in my books.
Perhaps this release did intend to appeal to the male gaze by presenting female-on-female sex, thereby objectifying women once again. However, from my optimistic, non-Korean, male perspective (which I have no qualms about admitting that it will be through tinted lenses), “Touch” may have been a Korean celebration or, at the very least, acknowledgment of female sexuality, especially the sexuality of individuals lying outside the straight box, and that would make “Touch” one of the most progressive K-pop releases to date.
Final Rating: B | Female sexuality taking front and center in an MV. Song is flat and Anda may not have the goods to twerk with but “Touch” is an almost-banger I wouldn’t mind playing at a party.