[Review] (G)I-DLE deliver a throwback spectacle with “Super Lady”

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Following the relative success of “Wife”, which at bare minimum generated a ton of discourse and therefore attention for their comeback, (G)I-DLE‘s title track for their album 2 is now here in the form of single “Super Lady“. And if nothing else, it’s nice to see a marquee group go second generation big conceptually.

Speaking of that, when fans nostalgically reminiscence on the second generation, they often talk about how maximalist things used to be. Well, for once the stories teasing the music video’s cost were justified, as it’s hard not to be impressed with the spectacle of it all. The immediate comp that sprung to mind was 2NE1’s “I Am The Best” (along with Lady Gaga and Beyonce in there), but with a more chic than rebellious image, and somehow also even more bombastic and ambitious. Aside from the sets and the styling, the choreography is a standout, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that went viral at some point as it was hard to keep your eyes off it.

“Super Lady” does differ musically, bending to Soyeon’s whims as more hip-hop centered than electropop, and including the usual idiosyncrasies like giving future linguists material for research. One strength of the song are the anthemic pre-choruses which seem to reach for the heavens, and the other is the surprising dance break, where they invoke the lesser spirit of T-ara in an almost “Sugar Free” finish to the track.

Unfortunately, it’s again the chorus I’m unsure about, as it drops down for a grimier but understated EDM beat for the spoken “lady lady call me super lady” and “follow ladies, onward ladies, super ladies” hooks. To continue with the comparisons, “I Am The Best” had the memorable “naega jeil jal naga” and the “ra-ta-ta-ta, ta-ta-ta-ta-ta” sections, while “Sugar Free” had a whole soaring vocal chorus over the EDM, and I didn’t find myself struck by “Super Lady” on that level. Feel like it deserved something as bombastic and/or epic as the music video was, but instead on repeat listens the beat doesn’t do a whole lot. The (G)I-DLE and their sheer charisma really bear the burden of carrying things, and who knows, maybe that’ll be enough over time.

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Still, the fact that I’m unsure about the song but have so many thoughts (and so does everybody else) on the release makes me appreciative of the comeback, if nothing else. The music video will almost certainly be one of my favorites in 2024, and the ambition of it all really stands out nowadays, demanding your attention rather than asking nicely. Still, I can’t help but wish the chorus was as dynamic as the rest of it tried to be, as that would’ve really tied it all together.