Tiffany makes her solo debut with solid but safe “I Just Wanna Dance”

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Tiffany has made her much-anticipated solo debut with “I Just Wanna Dance“, which had a whole lot of 80s in it, for better or worse.

“I Just Wanna Dance” feels like something the Wonder Girls might’ve released on their last album, but perhaps with even less of an edge to it. It’s an 80s track done in K-pop style, which means it runs the risk of coming off flat to begin with, but this tones that down even further and makes it an exceedingly mellow listen. There are those who love the feel and mood tracks like that create, but for me it did end up a bit static and repetitive as the song went on, mainly due to the lack of diversity and excitement.

I enjoyed the base instrumental quite a bit because I enjoy the 80s sound, but “I Just Wanna Dance” unfortunately didn’t go much further beyond that. In particular, the verses were stripped down to a synth-dominant sound, which would be fine if the vocals compensated for it either in manipulation or tone, but there wasn’t a whole lot being done there either. Tiffany puts in a solid performance, and I credit her for avoiding high-pitched shrieking (until the end) on a track that definitely didn’t call for it, but there was also nothing noteworthy about it, seemingly by design.

“I Just Wanna Dance” was a perfectly solid release, and it gets a boost from me for the 80s sound and excellent production qualities. That said, it was difficult to get all that immersed in it, as the hook lacked punch and it had an overall safe and sterile nature about it. It’s one of those songs that I wouldn’t change the radio station from if it came on, but I also wouldn’t ever be pining to hear it.

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As far as the music video goes, everything was going great with the outdoor scenery, and I figured they would do the intelligent thing and just make it a whimsical outdoor affair that would match the song. Instead, we were treated to Tiffany doing mediocre dancing that honestly seemed borderline awkward and out of place for me. If Tao looked completely in his element during “Hello Hello“, then this came off as anything but organic.

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For all my complaints about the choreography, though, I thought the aesthetic of the music video was executed amazingly well. Maybe a bit overkill on the pink filter, but conceptually everything matched up perfectly with the general mood of the song.

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When all things are considered, Tiffany’s solo debut seemed almost designed to insulate her from risk of a terrible track, an attitude that carried over to the aesthetic but rather basic music video.

So in the sense of risk avoidance, “I Just Wanna Dance” likely counts as a success. After all, despite whatever problems I had with the overall effort, it’s definitely a listenable song and a watchable music video. However, the same things that take away risk also take away from opportunities to make this standout, and thus “I Just Wanna Dance” ended up relatively forgettable in the grand scheme of the K-pop landscape. It’s just difficult to imagine anybody would be mounting an impassioned defense or critique of this effort if, say, Anda released it instead.

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