Just over a month after they announced their official return as a foursome, Wonder Girls broke their nearly three-year hiatus with “I Feel You” — their spectacular new single that refreshes their sound as much as their new lineup.
“I Feel You” is an near pitch-perfect ode to ’80s synth-rock that incorporates all the staples of the musical era: bouncy drum machines, breathy coos, twinkling synths, breathy coos, all centered around an irresistible Eurythmics-esque dance breakdown. Of course, the girls give it the K-pop stamp of approval by including a fun rap section, but this showcases a more much more mature sound as the girls whip out a laidback, sensual harmonies (heard throughout the entire new Reboot album, more on that later), sounding more like Wonder Women than Wonder Girls on a track that would sounds right at home on any ’80s dance CD.
The accompanying video looks like it was plucked from MTV’s first decade with a Robert Palmer “Addicted to Love” feel to it. Yenny, Lim, Sunmi and Yubin show off their new band “concept” as the girls rock out on keytar and ’80s-tastic drums in retro bikinis. Even the video is branded as being from 1987 with the classic MTV logo flipped over to make it WTV (perhaps Wonder TV?) amongst vintage-tinged clips.
“I Feel You” isn’t just one of the best K-pop songs released this year, but a testament how solid Wonder Girls’ retro-focused sonic concept is (nearly all their singles from 2009’s international breakout “Nobody” to 2011 comeback single “Be My Baby” have had a ’60s/’70s appeal to them). A drastic membership shift and image upheaval like this one — Yenny, now the undeniable star of the act, is the only member who has stayed with the formerly cutesy quintet since its nativity — needed something fresh and unexpected, which, being done under the Wonder Girls brand, made sense to have a new era to muse and throwback to.
“I Feel You” is the lead single off the band’s new full-length album Reboot. The 12-track set saw at least one member participating in the creation of each song, except for the lead single. You can stream the new LP via Apple Music or get a taste of all the ’80s goodness via a medley of the album tracks below: