By their own admission, Brave Girls were about to disband earlier this year, but following the famous revival of “Rollin’” the group now has new life and have shot up the K-pop tiers at a breakneck pace to become one of the most recognized girl groups. Of course, how they build on that chance is equally important, and with “Chi Mat Ba Ram” it becomes clear that they’d like to continue on thematically with the happy-go-lucky upbeat anthems.
While Brave Brothers didn’t go “full Brave Brothers” with this comeback, he seems to have done the safe thing to establish Brave Girls on solid footing. The intention of the comeback was made clear by naming the album Summer Queens, and it certainly delivers on the promise of a summery soundscape, as “Chi Mat Ba Ram” is an undeniably happy, upbeat track that feels like something you dance to at an outdoor beach concert and just let loose.
The percussion hits and pulsing synths keeps the momentum high and rolling (no pun intended) along, with the structure angling toward a traditional summer anthem. The opening verse including a “Rollin'” reference in the lyrics was a nice touch, and the verses and pre-chorus are pleasantly brisk and build tension, respectively. The chorus is surprisingly packed, opting for something a bit more complete and well rounded, which is a surprise considering the runaway success of their hook-y hit. But it works, and I think Minyoung‘s vocal continues to be one of their strong points, not because it’s necessarily technically brilliant, but it absolutely immediately stands out in the crowd, fits the sound they want, and is capable of hitting the necessary anthemic peaks.
Even trying to put aside their story and the performance aspects, the song’s main strength is the projection of joy to the listener, never relenting and constantly hammering its atmosphere home. While the sax-heavy instrumental post-chorus might be off-putting to some, brass always has appeal to me and it never kills the momentum.
“Chi Mat Ba Ram” is not necessarily the most memorable track in the sense that it doesn’t have that indelible hook that “Rollin'” did. But while admittedly not venturing too far out of the box, It’s a track where once you start listening it’s almost impossible to not end up enjoying yourself, and that’s worth a lot as repeat listens get racked up. In the end, Brave Girls have handled the unrealistic expectations of their follow-up with aplomb, delivering a summer anthem that’s just a lot of fun and seems to carve out a longer run of success if they all want it.