With their first comeback in more than two years, the Brown-Eyed Girls (BEG) want to remind you that they aren’t just any girl group. Their title song, “Sixth Sense,” is extremely smart and strong, with lots of esoteric references that you wouldn’t normally expect in the pop genre. The vocals are phenomenal — when you listen to this song, there’s no doubt that Misses Narsha, Ga In, JeA, and Miryo possess some of the best voices in the K-Pop scene today. Now, there are those who might argue about whether idols generally have the talent to go along with their picture-perfect image, but few can say a word against the vocal strengths of BEG.
“Sixth Sense” opens with a teasing slow cymbal that quickly increases in volume, setting you up for an energetic, fast-paced trip that really wakes you up (even if you listen to it in the morning on three hours of sleep, as I did). Immense vocals, sweeping brass and orchestral counterparts, and an insistently pounding drumbeat carry you right through the song, to the point that you’re almost left in mental lurch after the song ends. What kind of crazy pop song is this? Hard to say. On their part, BEG classifies this track under a new genre called “rhapsodic hybrid soul,” which blends different types of music from classical orchestra to rap and soul. Interesting!
To break up the song a bit, there’s also a rap interlude and some offbeat elements interwoven throughout. Upon first listen, everything almost struck me as a little too complicated, but a second listen allowed me to understand the structure of the song and “get it.” One theory of music holds that people actually appreciate unexpected patterns (to a degree), and to me, this definitely could serve as an example of that.
When I was listening to “Sixth Sense,” the reference that kept coming to mind was those huge pop songs from the 1970’s belted out by ladies with killer pipes. Think “I Will Survive” — though the songs don’t sound anything alike, to me they both have that kind of “bold, independent women” attitude, with showy vocals that demand respect, and a fast, catchy beat that gets your foot tapping. On the other hand, thunderstix noted that the song reminded him of “Lady Marmalade” from “Moulin Rouge” (note that this was also a 1970’s hit single) — and he was right on target. Again, melodically the two songs are totally dissimilar, and “Sixth Sense” is much faster-paced than the former. But these are both songs that require heavy vocal lifting (i.e., think twice before you undertake this during your next karaoke session). And the lyrics also possess the same kind of similarity with “Lady Marmalade” — that is to say, they don’t sound anything alike, but they do possess the same kind of strong attitude. Just as not everyone could pull off this complex tune, not everyone could carry this swagger!
Anyway, “Sixth Sense” is definitely a fun, creative track. If you’re tired of hearing the same things in K-Pop, or if you love hearing strong voices, you’ll need to check out BEG’s comeback! (Support the girls — tweet #BEGisback”!)
Check out the teaser!