Wonder Girls go retro with Reboot
JYP Entertainment's signature girl group Wonder Girls are back after three years with their long-awaited third studio album, Reboot.
Reorganised into a four-member band, Wonder Girls now consists of Hye Rim on guitar, Sunmi on bass, Ye Eun on the keyboard and Yubin on drums.
They made their debut in 2007 and are known for hits such as Nobody and Tell Me.
"It feels really strange and new to be back after three years," said Hye Rim at a press showcase on Monday at the Hyundai Card Understage in Hannam-dong, Seoul. "And on top of that, we're back as a band. It's great."
According to Ye Eun, the idea to turn Wonder Girls into a band started when they played their track Girlfriend together for fun. "We all started playing as a hobby," she said. "When (JYP employees) saw us play, they thought it would be nice to show that side of us to the public."
The album Reboot presents the Wonder Girls' transformation from a dance group into a band, while giving recognition to the retro style that catapulted them to superstardom.
The 12 tracks on the album - all of which, except the title track I Feel You, had either music or lyrics written by the members themselves - span the spectrum of 1980s genres including retro dance, retro pop ballads and old school hip-hop.
"We started writing the other songs after I Feel You was chosen as the title track," said Ye Eun. "We figured, if we were going retro, we might as well make all 12 tracks representative of the 80s."
"I think it's so funny that all of our songs since Irony have been retro," Sunmi said. "None of us grew up listening to songs from that era. The sounds were new to us, and we didn't really know the sentiment of that period. The fact that we interpret that music in our own style is what sets us apart."
Written by JYP Entertainment's head producer Park Jin Young, I Feel You is a funky, rhythmic 80s freestyle song that has the girls dancing while playing their instruments.
"Before we finalised our performance, our biggest concern was whether it would be all right for the Wonder Girls to not dance," said Ye Eun.
"We knew that many people loved us for the songs they could sing along to and choreography they could dance along to. But once we added the dancing, we were relieved because we thought it would make the music easier to approach."
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK