From their debut, Dreamcatcher’s trajectory has always pointed up, but in recent comebacks things seem to have escalated, and “BOCA” feels like it could be a pivotal moment for the group. That’s a lot to put on one title track, but for my money they haven’t missed yet and that thankfully continues here.
Described as a mix of moombahton along with their usual hard rock, “BOCA” seems to deliver on that mix about to my expectations. The verses carry a brisk and gentle tone with the expected ominous underpinnings, utilizing an almost pulsing beat initially. The rap sections is where the fusion sound can be heard more clearly, with Gahyeon emerging as a solid rapper, and the second section is particularly intriguing because the foundational beat is the same but the delivery makes it all sound like a drastic switch. Unlike their usual format, the structure had a more nonlinear feel than ever before, taking a bit of a risk. It did throw me for a loop, and that has value in itself, even if it didn’t quite hit on all cylinders.
Note: While there wasn’t an obvious spot where I felt Handong’s abscense in “Scream”, she would’ve been perfect for the vocal section just before the pre-chorus up until Yoohyeon’s burst.
The pre-chorus on Dreamcatcher songs are usually gentler before launching into a raucous chorus, but on “BOCA” it really felt drawn-out and almost floaty, which took me further out than I liked. Fortunately then, the chorus does deliver all the goods, mainly through the usual hard rock guitar riffs but also from the hard-hitting percussion that blends in seamlessly. As usual, concerns about a simple and repetitive instrumental drop were allayed by the final result being something more fleshed out, with “where is the love” likely being the most memorable refrain, and vocal runs filling the space.
For my money though, the bridge is really what brought everything together. Rather than settling for a reset with a cliche drop-out, it carries some of the momentum of the chorus and serves as a launching pad for the epic finale. Siyeon’s high note is a given, but the JiU to SuA transition was seamless and the latter really showed her range here and impressed. The combination of the sections make it certain to appeal to me regardless of my initial apprehension regarding the verses, and the final flourish alone is worth the price of admission.
“BOCA” was a step further away from the norm than usual in some respects and they still managed to make it work, which shows a bit of growth and a bit of savvy in terms of knowing where to take risks, and bodes well for the future. Overall, it currently sits around the middle of Dreamcatcher’s incredible discography, which normally isn’t something hyped fans want to hear, but is hardly an insult given where I rate the rest of it. The concept was also done well with the music video visuals are among the best they’ve had so far, so those only serve to enhance the end product further, and it’s hard not to come away feeling energized and ready to hit repeat after that epic closing.