While AOA hasn’t been in the business of reinventing the wheel of K-pop popularity, they’ve been one of the genre’s more recent success stories. Unfortunately, “Heart Attack” doesn’t really attempt to raise the bar of AOA’s sound or concept, and the end product is very, very content to play everything safe with a song that is by no means a winner.
The big problem with “Heart Attack” is that the song is a fair mess. The Brave Brothers-produced beat relies entirely too heavily on a thumping, numbing, stomping synth that never lets up. While that may work in context of the approximately ten seconds of “sports arena noise” that is integrated into the video, it is almost comically overbearing for an entire song. It doesn’t help that AOA’s vocals are also auto-tuned into what amounts to an extra EDM instrument. The electronica feel of the vocals get subsumed by the dominant synths, and that interplay makes “Heart Attack” sound more like a headache. If the whole point of the song was to create a sound that sounds like a cross between stadium cheers and a garbage disposal, then this moderately succeeds. As a pop song though, there’s not much positive to write home about.
The music video doesn’t make up for the song, but it doesn’t hurt “Heart Attack” either. It’s just … a tad bland. AOA started off with a rather interesting concept (AOA White/AOA Black), masterfully transitioned from a cute girl group/band into one of the more reliably “sexy” concept groups around, before sort of settling into the look that the group shows off in “Heart Attack.”
Make no mistake, the girls look great (Choa and Yuna forever), but the concept of AOA’s youthful sexiness isn’t particularly novel in the genre or even within the group’s body of work. The lacrosse concept is nice and it gives AOA the opportunity to work with some brilliantly colorful sets and outfits, but the dance-in-a-box framework and the “girl pines for boy” plot are so utterly basic that it takes the stupidly pretty nature of AOA’s members to make “Heart Attack” impactful at all.
AOA basically treads water with “Heart Attack.” The beat is a blunt misfire and the music video is a case study in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix (or improve) it.” And hey, the group has proven to be wildly successful, so this sort of video isn’t entirely unexpected. Hopefully, the group will look to ‘wow’ with their next comeback *coughAOABlackPlzcough*, because “Heart Attack” is something of a white-noise lullaby.