Chart-wise, SPICA are currently one of top female rookie groups of 2012. Their Sweetune-produced single “Russian Roulette” was nothing short of fantastic, but follow up “Painkiller” wasn’t quite as strong. They’ve gained most their popularity for their powerful vocal abilities, but they’re still no Piggy Dolls when it comes to singing.
SPICA spent their first few singles stuck in dark concepts and showcasing their voices above their dancing and fashion (both of which were never very good). For their newest tune, the cheerfully titled “I’ll Be There”, the girls have swapped their gloomy style for a bright and bubbly new approach, à la SECRET.
Clearly inspired by A Pink’s hit “My My”, “I’ll Be There” is a vibrant throwback to late nineties bubblegum pop. Think early Mandy Moore, Britney Spears, and Backstreet Boys. Janet Jackson too, as parts of “I’ll Be There” sound suspiciously like Janet’s signature smash, “Together Again”.
Anything referencing the likes of Britney, BSB, and Janet is bound to be good, and “I’ll Be There” is very good. It’s every bit as vibrant and fun as the sugary classics it’s referencing, delivering a healthy dose of nostalgia for anyone who grew up in the era of Max Martin’s manufactured pop hits.
Fashion wise, SPICA have always been a hot mess, but their style mistakes semi work in the “I’ll Be There” music video. It almost comes across as if they were intentionally trying to look outdated and cheesy, even though we all know that in reality they actually thought this shit looked fly.
Ultimately, SPICA can’t really pull off the whole cutesy thing as efficiently as A Pink, KARA, or even SECRET can, and as enjoyable as “I’ll Be There” is, I’d like to see them return to their darker concept. Just like 2NE1, some groups are just naturally suited to one style, and SPICA is one of them.
Fingers crossed that they serve up something a little edgier next time around, but until then, I can have fun with “I’ll Be There”.