After a July that was packed full of releases from some of the biggest names in K-pop, the Wonder Girls have returned after a long hiatus to blow everyone and everything away with their triumphant comeback as a band in “I Feel You.”
For all the hype and attention that has been paid attention to the band concept (the teasers should forever be enshrined in some music hall of fame), the element of “I Feel You” that stands out the most is the mixing of the vocals. The wonderfully retro synth riff that sounds like it belongs in an 80s Eddie Murphy movie would be pretty enjoyable on its own, but the Wonder Girls make it their own by inserting a subtly sexy delivery into the dance music through a mixture of well-sung vocals and production that smartly leaves things well-enough alone.
The inclusion of the vocalists’ breaths and rasps adds a whole layer of richness to a track that is lacking in strong, organic sound, and the results are incredibly impactful — I could probably listen to Sunmi’s lines on repeat for the rest of my life. The instrumentals may be nice, but it’s Sunmi, Yenny and Hyelim’s vocals that provide the meat of “I Feel You.”
The video for “I Feel You” is similarly smartly put together. The 80s motif that is unmistakable in the song is fully realized in every detail in the video, from the cheeky “WTV” watermark at the start of the video to the slightly grainy filters to the Miami Vice florescent pink lighting. Even the relative flatness of the camera angles recalls a more primitive era in all of its cheesy glory.
As for visual impact, the Wonder Girls apparently ran out of mercy deposits because the amount of ruthlessness on display in “I Feel You” is viscous. The red one-piece swimsuits that the members gloriously rock are equal parts Baywatch (which first aired during the tail-end of the 80s, not that I’m complaining) and modern day sexy K-pop, a rare instance where a sexy wardrobe isn’t being deployed solely for sexiness sake but for the thematic motif of the comeback. The black pieces with teal and pink accents, as well as the teal pieces with black and pink accents, also heavily recall color templates that are ubiquitous with eighties fashion. The choreography, as basic and restricted as it is due to the instruments that the Wonder Girls carry around, fully takes advantage of the Wonder Girls’ impossibly long legs to get the most out of the “performance” aspects of “I Feel You.”
There isn’t much to say about the members themselves. They look flawless. Sunmi is so improbably stunning that it doesn’t seem quite right that she exists in our universe. And Yubin. YUBIN.
The entire video could have been this gif on repeat and it would still earn high marks for its awesomeness. The fact that the full video also happens to be incredible is icing on the cake.
“I Feel You” is the music video of the summer. The entire concept is a slavish throwback to the eighties but it isn’t lazily done as there isn’t an aspect that feels “off” in the homage. The Wonder Girls sound great, they look SO FLAWLESS I COULD DIE great, and the band concept is skillfully integrated, even if it’s not as prominent as the hoopla that surrounded the “reboot” would suggest. “I Feel You” is pretty close to perfect and, amazingly, it’s not just because of the fact that Yubin is playing drums (but for real, Yubin playing drums is the best).
I bet any chucklehead who doubted this concept is feeling pretty damn foolish right about now.