BoA‘s back and doing what she does best in “Only One”, the lead single from her just-released seventh studio album of the same name.
Both the song and the music video serve as a throwback to the K-Pop of the earlier part of last decade, when the industry wasn’t as dominated by idol groups and superstar soloists like BoA, Rain, Lee Hyori, and Se7en were ruling the charts in the same way that acts like Girls’ Generation and BIGBANG do today.
For this comeback, BoA didn’t do a typical dance track like she did with 2010′s “Hurricane Venus”, instead going for a melodic urban-pop ballad with a radio-friendly sound and splashes of R&B and hip-hop. SM Entertainment is saying that BoA wrote and produced it herself, and although I’m usually skeptical when pop artists try to take credit for producing their own tracks, “Only One” has a similarly safe and formulaic sound as Hurricane Venus‘ “Ordinary Day”, which BoA was also credited with crafting, so it’s plausible that she really did do this one herself.
“Only One” isn’t the strongest single that BoA has ever done, but it works very well for what it is, and helps push the throwback concept that BoA is going for this era. Plus, BoA’s got a good track record for dropping seriously great albums, so her singles don’t need to be scrutinized as intensely as other K-pop artists (*cough* f(x) *cough*).
Where “Only One” truly shines is its music video. The dance version of the MV has premiered (BoA’s pulled a T-ara and also filmed a drama version), and it’s absolutely incredible.
By now it’s hard to make an SM Entertainment dance video look particularly interesting or original, so BoA hired the big guns to make “Only One” a cut above the rest, bringing in Emmy-winning choreographers Nappytabs to create a killer lyrical hip-hop routine for her to annihilate. The pair have worked on America’s Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance, and with superstars like Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, so they’re at the top of the food chain when it comes to celebrity choreographers.
The moves in “Only You” are utterly incredible, containing some of the best choreography to hit pop music in years. There’s a lot of technical stuff in there that the majority of other pop acts just don’t have the skills to execute, but funnily enough, the best moment is a rather simple move where BoA uses her backup dancers like a couch, then rolls over and falls into the arms of one like a newlywed being carried over the threshold.
The video re-establishes BoA as the Queen of Choreography, which in turn, re-positions her as the Queen of K-Pop. Even if “Only You” isn’t the absolute best song of the year, it reminds you just why you love BoA in the first place, and for that reason it’s a definite winner in my eyes.