BoA doesn’t need any introduction at this point, and for somebody of that status who has generally steered clear of mess, she has had a subtly controversial year by her standards (granted, meaningless shit). Garnering criticism from netizens, both Korean and international, for judging on Street Man Fighter and the fact that she’s getting to host K-909, it’s hard not to see new single “Forgive Me” as a response to all that noise.
Forgive me, but “Forgive Me” actually didn’t connect immediately, likely due to expectation that it might be something closer to “Rock With You“. However, on repeat listens it becomes clear that the strengths of BoA’s charisma, one subtly addictive line, and the utilization of a darker soundscape that matches the lyrical themes are more than enough to carry it.
Unsurprisingly, the crunchy guitar was a favorite from the start, though over it is more of a spoken word verse than singing or rapping. That can be a risky choice, but BoA does well to sell that ominous mood befitting of the lyrics she’s delivering, feeling as if though she’s staring daggers through you with words. As things pep up for the chorus, it’s still more spoken than singing, provoking a tinge of disappointment as it’s a bit more drab than explosive. Thankfully, the chorus elevates once her vocal comes in and actually ends up delivering a hell of a melody and peak, which releases the tension that has built throughout to that point. Even still, the element that won me over was the “I don’t need you to forgive me” line that closes it with bite and confidence, actually adding a memorable element to this track.
Where “Forgive Me” eventually falls on BoA’s extensive discography of excellence is debatable, as it’s certainly not one of those standout chart-topping dance-pop tracks. However, this stands out in its own way within that discography for how unapologetic and quite frankly pissed off she sounds, which ends up carving out a nice place for itself somewhere, as there’s certainly more to like here than not.