Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Brave Girls – Deepened

Matt brings us a K-pop group that might be struggling elsewhere, but not with us…


[Video][Website]
[6.82]

Madeleine Lee: Back in February, rapper Hyeran described the promotions for this song as her last chance. Brave Girls are hardly the only K-pop group that have had years of never progressing past “struggling,” but Hyeran really does sound like it’s her last chance in “Deepened,” throwing herself wholly into her half-sung verse. It’s already a melancholy song, and kind of a flat one until that point, but her performance gives it the emotional core it needs. One of the most striking individual performances in a K-pop song I’ve heard all year.
[7]

Iain Mew: “Deepened” mostly works as a rolling mood piece, its forefronting of atmosphere above all an unusual choice which pays off because it sets up Hyeran’s rap as the moment everything solidifies.
[7]

Katie Gill: I mean, it’s a sexy R&B jam. The main thing it’s got going for it is that powerful, in your face rap break, but the rest of the song’s simple sexy R&B, designed for grinding and not really designed for analyzing.
[5]

Alfred Soto: It’s got the bump of a The-Dream production but not the grind — it’s pleasant fare.
[5]

Edward Okulicz: The combination of that deep, grinding throb and a sad piano is interesting but awkward — how am I going to get down to this when it sounds desperate, as if the voice of the song isn’t getting into its own groove?
[6]

Will Adams: I love the mashup of the piano ballad and trap templates here; neither outweigh the other at any point, and the balance between the former’s sweetness and the latter’s melancholy make for an engaging listen.
[7]

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: The slow mecha-beat/elongated piano chords combination in the verses rarely works with vocals that are too frontal in the mix, but the second-verse rap, with such a commanding flow and interesting rhythmic choices, puts that idea to rest. Then the chorus goes full Miami Bass — which should be illegal at this point, ’cause man, does it bang
[7]

Brad Shoup: Outside of the appearance of a clopping beat (and ignoring the Mustardy “hey”s), it’s a fine slow jam in the Braxton mold: cleanly-etched anguish, small high harmonies, midnight piano chording.
[6]

Ramzi Awn: Brave Girls nail the pre-chorus and fade-out on “Deepened,” a breezy track with texture. 
[7]

Thomas Inskeep: Even if you don’t know the lyrics to “Deepened,” you get the melancholy, thanks to the vocal performances of Brave Girls. This is a song of regret, made all the more powerful by its juxtaposition of piano-based near-balladry with freestyle snares preparing to body-rock (which happens in the chorus, albeit subtly). There’s a sadness which catches you right there, and that makes this fairly essential.  
[9]

Matt Vitone: “Deepened” clicks from the first note. The gloomy, piano-driven production chugs along with machine-like precision, but it’s the human elements here that intrigue. Hyeran’s sixteen stunning bars are the song’s centerpiece rather than simple flourish in the typical K-pop way. She tears into the lyrics with the ferocity of someone well aware this might be her last chance. “I just wanted you to look at me/I know love changes as time passes,” is directed at an ex-lover, but also speaks to the fragile reality of the idol machine, and how easily our dreams can pass us by. From a fan’s perspective, a lot has “changed” in K-pop too (the song title in Korean 변했어 literally means “You’ve Changed”). This year I got bored of the same cloying cute concepts, the same songs that try to be 15 songs at once. I was bored and disappointed with groups that should be the antithesis of all that playing it safe. And so there was something refreshing about this song that aspires to be nothing more than well-constructed, with a nice touch of wistfulness and sophistication. Yet something about hearing “you’ve changed so much” repeated thrice touched in me something larger, about how my teenage hobby might be passing me by, too.
[9]

Reader average: [8.5] (4 votes)

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One Response to “Brave Girls – Deepened”

  1. Wow thanks for reviewing everyone! And glad someone else liked it as much as me (Thomas!)