If you're a 2nd-generation K-pop fan, you surely remember the era when Brave Brothers was one of the most prominent hitmakers for girl groups. The Brave Sound formula took countless groups to the top of the charts. And now, his self-produced girl group Brave Girls have finally found their place in the spotlight, years after almost everyone had written them off.
The rise of "Rollin'" has made me nostalgic for those bygone years of formulaic, impossibly catchy Brave hits, and I can't be the only one. So here's a little experiment: If our favorite 3rd-generation girl groups had their own Brave Sound songs, which would fit them best? This is purely based on my own opinion, so let's take it away...
AH - originally by AFTER SCHOOL
"Ah" is a classic, an early example of the Brave Sound formula at its simplest. That beepy, metallic synth was a perfect backdrop for AS's debut, establishing them as the Pussycat Dolls of K-pop. In some ways, it feels like a more grown-up version of the spacey sound that WJSN had at their debut. So, if WJSN were to release "Ah" today, it would be both a nostalgic call-back to their early days and a bold, sexy new step for the group. With 10 members (or 13 if their China-line were to come back), WJSN have the energy and talent to pull this song off.
ALONE - originally by SISTAR
It's hard to assign a Brave Brothers bop to DC, because nothing in BB's arsenal even comes close to their rock sound. But they do have the charisma and sultriness to make "Alone" work. I think DC's dance line would especially shine here. Remix the song with a bit more guitar and add some horror elements, and you'd have an intriguing twist on this classic.
CRYING - originally by STELLAR
Despite their lack of commercial success, Laboum just keep on going, and they've nailed a variety of different sounds while steadily evolving into maturity. They remind me of Stellar, another mismanaged yet undeniably talented group. And "Crying", if performed by Laboum, could become the summer bop that they need to lift them from obscurity. It's utterly danceable and I think it would fit them to a T.
EXCUSE ME - originally by AOA
"Excuse Me" was a polarizing release, due in no small part to its campiness. But camp is something that Twice have always nailed. The "cute-sexy detective" concept would fit them perfectly, especially since JYPE spares no expense for their music videos. Each member's personality would get a chance to shine. For some reason, it's really easy to imagine Nayeon and Jihyo singing this song.
FIRST LOVE - originally by AFTER SCHOOL
DIA are one of my favorite groups, but it's clear that MBK has never really had a direction in mind for them. Rather than backpedaling to youthful innocence like they did with their most recent comeback, I think it's time for them to show their true versatility with a concept like "First Love." Both After School and DIA have rapidly learned new skills such as cheer stunts, playing instruments, tap-dancing... DIA has some really talented dancers. All they need is a pole and a funky Brave Sound bop to show what they can do.
HEART ATTACK - originally by AOA
Now that GFriend are really expanding their sound and image, I think "Heart Attack" would be a perfect marriage of their older and newer work. It's got the bright, sunshiny vibe of "Me Gustas Tu" and the confident sexiness of "Mago." GFriend have the energy to make this work, and if anyone other than Choa can pull off the vocals here, it's Yuju.
I'M ILL - originally by HELLO VENUS
Once again, I'm pairing two groups with a similar career trajectory - at one point they had major attention from the public, but due to mismanagement they ended up struggling, all while putting out fun, campy dance bops. "I'm Ill" is like the older sister of Momoland's "I'm So Hot." It's a shameless celebration of the self with a beat that can really make you sweat. The neon palette and thumping beat are a perfect fit for Momoland.
LIKE A CAT - originally by AOA
This song is an obvious choice for CLC. Their logo was a cat for years! But besides that, I think this song would be a perfect evolution of their sound, and it's remarkably easy to imagine Yeeun doing J***n's rap part. As one of the only 3rd-gen girl groups that have really played around in the sexy-concept space, I'd love to see CLC try on the cat ears.
LOVE OPTIONS - originally by BESTIE
Besides the name of the song and group going well together, I find it surprisingly easy to imagine Lovelyz performing this song. It has that playful yet elegant, pretty vibe that they exude on tracks like "WoW!" "Love Options" is fun and a bit sexy, yet full of classy femininity.
MINISKIRT - originally by AOA
It's very hard to assign a Brave Bros track to Red Velvet, because they are so much an SM group, and SM groups never sound like anything other than what they are. But if I had to, I'd go with "Miniskirt." Besides the obvious red theme, I think it'd actually be a nice blend of their "Red" and "Velvet" sides. I might rewrite the lyrics to be less desperate and more confident, per RV's brand.
SHORT HAIR - originally by AOA
I know that Gugudan have disbanded, but I'm too satisfied with this pick not to include it. Their "storybook theater" concept would work PERFECTLY for this song as a retelling of Rapunzel. The song has a colorful, vibrant sound that would fit in with their existing discography, and it'd be easy to add some more harmonies to really show off their capabilities. Come on, can't we get the group back together for one more release?
SLEEPLESS NIGHT - originally by 9MUSES
This is easily my favorite pick out of this list. Oh My Girl's fairylike concept and ethereal vocals honestly might make this song even better than the original, and that's an impossibly high bar to clear. If they ever decide to pivot toward a sexy concept, I hope that THIS is the kind of song we get from them.
SO CRAZY - originally by T-ARA
The oddball of the bunch, "So Crazy" is a rare example of a Brave Bros track that doesn't stand out in the artist's discography. It was just too different from what T-ara were known for. But it's still a great song, and it might be the kind of song that Elris need to get their big break. They're adorable, and they would really pull off those cute sailor costumes.
SOMEONE LIKE U - originally by DAL SHABET
...but what if it was
If you haven't heard "Someone Like U," you're missing out on a strong contender for Brave Bros' magnum opus. It's a slice of pure '80s-inspired pop goodness. And after Sonamoo hit it out of the park with "Friday Night," I think they would sound dynamite on this track. It seems to be their forte. They're on the verge of disbandment now, but when the members get out of their awful company, maybe they can reunite and give us a bop like this?
WHAT'S YOUR NAME? - originally by 4MINUTE
...but what if it was
Like SM artists, YG artists also have a certain sound that they rarely step out of. But YGE actually has a history with Brave Bros. If they were to collaborate again, I bet it'd sound something like this, and it'd be a refreshing change of pace for Blackpink. "What's Your Name?" would be a fun, danceable track for BP - and they wouldn't have to take their ~Swag~ so seriously!
WIGGLE WIGGLE - originally by HELLO VENUS
Okay, hear me out before you start typing your comment... I would change a lot about this song, MV, and choreo before giving it to HV's younger sister group, Weki Meki. It's undeniably a bop, a classic, but it shows a level of objectification that's thankfully a lot more rare in K-pop these days. But we still need booty shaking anthems! If Weki Meki donned some nice jeans and got some nicer choreo that put their amazing dance skills to work, they could turn this forgotten gem into a diamond.
Sources: YouTube: xCHELLy, starshipTV, TheEntertainmentPascal, 1theK (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), fantagio (1, 2), AOA, GENIE MUSIC, MBK Entertainment [Official]; Tumblr: femaleidols (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), anna-something, chaisexuality, allfemaleidols, lovelyzdaily, redvelvetcult, jungyerinz, hyyerin, ryusujeongz, whatchatalkabout, doyeonkim
So what do you think? With Brave Girls finally getting their well-deserved recognition, is it time to bring back the good old days of Brave Sound bops? Which song/artist picks would you make differently, and what about the many songs/artists that I didn't include? Leave your thoughts below!