[Review] BoA delivers an iconic comeback with the confident, polished “Woman”

Expectations were high for BoA‘s “Woman“, as the teasers to its release seemed to promise something impressive. Thankfully she’s managed to deliver an addictively dirty track with a confident and mature message.

While it has nothing to do with the song, the inverted walking choreography is just ridiculous. I’ve grown used to polished, sharp choreography in K-pop, especially from a performer like BoA, but it’s rare that I’m just blown away by something I’ve never seen before. This certainly qualifies. While that doesn’t necessarily impact the song, it’s impossible to divorce the charismatic, star quality she’s always exuded from her sound, especially now with the mature way she tackles songs like this.

Of course, guile and confidence can only compensate for so much if the music itself is lifeless, so fortunately it’s given a stylish and slick sound. The instrumental appeal revolves primarily around the dirty bassline, and indeed that’s what sold this to me in the end. It doesn’t settle there, however, as synths help add funky and fun edges to its sound. The almost spoken call-and-response format of the pre-chorus somehow manages to be engaging as the song builds, and the explosion of energy in the chorus was a much-needed payoff. The refrain quickly proves memorable and impactful, performed with a rhythm that makes it easy to groove with and is punctuated by an acapella run. At the end of the song, I was looking forward to the hook rather than tiring of it, and the almost abrupt ending made me seek out the replay button more than I’d like to admit.

While nothing in BoA recent output has been bad or anything, aside from “CAMO” I wasn’t all that enamored with her Korean singles since (appropriately) “Girls On Top“, and one did wonder whether BoA would end up coasting to the finish line of her career like many veterans end up doing (and that would be fine, she deserves to do whatever). However, while I’m unsure whether “Woman” will shoot her back to chart relevancy, it certainly provided a jolt that snapped me back to reality and reminded me of what she’s capable of. “Woman” serves notice that she certainly doesn’t think she’s past her prime, and with comebacks like this, it’s hard to argue.


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