After the promising teasers with deep meaning, AOA Cream‘s “I’m Jelly Baby” as a song and concept doesn’t do justice to the AOA sub-unit consisting of the three least popular members.
The start to AOA Cream’s “I’m Jelly Baby” was promising, with Yuna taking command and the track coming off a lot stronger than I anticipated. However, as the verse shifted to different members, the lack of any kind of energy or build became disappointingly apparent. As much as I wanted to will myself into liking this for the sake of these members finally getting a chance, the chorus was the nail in the coffin as it was bland and lacked punch. Everything was exacerbated by the fact that they were instructed to sing everything in a higher pitch, probably to fit the cute-hot theme of the whole thing, but it ended up being a tad grating.
If there’s a saving grace, it’s the fact that Yuna, Hyejeong, and Chanmi look cute-hot in the music video, as intended … but it doesn’t even allow me to appreciate that because of the retread concept of catching a boyfriend cheating and chasing him down.
It’s the girl group version of the terrible boy group trope of the members fighting or fawning over a single girl. Combine that with the fact that the teasers appeared to promise ‘Sailor Moon‘ realness and not soft-as-fuck Tinkerbell shit, and it was hard not to be disappointed with the music video concept.
Certain AOA fans will hate hearing this, but if nothing else this effort proved why members like Jimin, Choa, and Seolhyun are necessary. Seolhyun’s draw is obvious, and Choa not only brings standout vocals, but she also has a charm that demands attention and brings the level of everything up a bit. Perhaps most importantly, without Jimin’s chipmunk rapping and awkward ad libs, the reality is that most of AOA’s songs would be safe, pleasant, and decently catchy affairs that would nonetheless fall back into the rest of the girl group pack due to not having Jimin make them immediately identifiable to anybody. It’s why, for as much as I love AOA, they haven’t really had a “national song” type of hit yet, and AOA Cream’s effort was like a standard AOA single except without any of the defining characteristics.
Oh well, at least we have seeing their fan-designed stage outfits to look forward to.