[Review] WJSN’s “Save Me Save You” unfolds gently but ends up as something rather majestic

WJSN debuted with a pretty airtight sound, melding the trends of the day with a spacey, synth-filled style in keeping with their group name. Over the past two years, they’ve briefly dipped into muddy waters, with last year’s TWICE-esque Happy being the most jarring detour. But with “Save Me Save You“, they’ve doubled down on the musical hallmarks that made many fall in love with them in the first place.

Falling back on recognizable touchstones is always a smart move, especially in moments of transition. “Save Me Save You” is released without the participation of WJSN’s three Chinese members, and like EXO before them, the future of this pan-national group is looking more and more like it will end up in some sort of division. Still, a 13-member K-pop act offers a seemingly endless supply of voices and talents. “Save Me Save You” doesn’t suffer too much from the group’s reduced size.

Instead, the song plays like a streamline of their greatest hits, pulling heavily from Secret’s mystical instrumental while incorporating the electronic sparkle of I Wish and the wistful power of Dreams Come True.

Its opening verse is tentative, drawing back after the cascade of synths that opens the track. However, the melody quickly builds energy as we head into the chorus. Like “Secret”, this is not a song driven by an instant, catchphrase-ready refrain. “Save Me Save You” unfolds gradually, and its beauty is in its majestic details. From the haunting brush of filtered background vocals to the delicate percolation of icy synths, it’s the kind of soundscape that’s easy to get lost in. That has been WJSN’s strength all along, and the calling card that makes them unique among today’s girl groups.

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