Brave Girls’ “Deepened” is less than the sum of its parts, but shows promise

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Brave Girls are back with “Deepened“, and they’re now essentially a new group after shedding and adding members during the few years off.

For better or worse, this is something I would’ve thought was from the Korean hip-hop or R&B side of things, not the pop industry.

The instrumental during the intro and the verses was quite nice, but I really thought/hoped/wished that the hook would call back that pounding intro and just amplify things to give the slow/sensual build-up a sense of release. Instead, it ended up actually just going a beat faster and getting airier, which I thought didn’t help the song and didn’t match the concept. The rap verse was surprising in that it featured a lot of silence, because usually noise is brought in for idol rappers in order to disguise a lack of skill and/or the lyrics. But while the rapper struggled a bit to stay on flow in the middle, she seemed to acquit herself quite well in the end, which was impressive given the circumstances. Vocally speaking, it was the opposite of the song’s arrangement in that the verses highlighted a lot of quasi-yelling in the upper registers that sort of annoyed my eardrums, while the less vocally demanding chorus at least sounded good even if it wasn’t catchy.

Basically, I wanted to like the song a lot more than I actually did. I can see myself putting this on some kind of chill playlist, and I actually think it’s solid for what it is, but it resembles something more like a B-side meant to showcase versatility or depth rather than something that was meant to be engaging.

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The music video for “Deepened” was a pleasant surprise, mixing in appropriate amounts of group and closeup shots, along with choreography highlights. The lack of set diversity was likely just due to budget constraints, but it was worked around thanks to some camera tricks, and the scaffolding scene was a highlight.

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The outfits were literally just gym wear, and I definitely think they could’ve put more effort to glam it up a bit other than to just use the excuse that they were riding the “muscle queen” trend. Fortunately, at least it did manage to highlight the visuals of Brave Girls, and though I know none of them, a few did standout in their closeups.

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Overall, it was one of those efforts that was nice but ultimately struggled to make me feel much for them. This despite the fact that the concept itself immediately drew my attention for coming off rather different than the girl group norms. Unlike some efforts that are better than the sum of its parts, “Deepened” had a bunch of sections of the instrumental, visuals, and concept that I liked, but as a whole package it struggled to come together and make everything work.

That said, at least they’ve managed to grab my attention enough to make them worth following, which is more than I can say for the previous iteration of the group. I just hope it doesn’t take Brave Girls another three years to return.

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