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K-Pop Throwback: Why T-ara's 2009 Single 'Like The First Time' Still Holds Up [VIDEO]

By Jesse Lent | June 12, 2015 08:26 PM EDT


In the disposable world of pop music, with high-powered music execs providing a constant stream of hope-to-be hits to the unquenchable public, like chum into shark-infested waters, it it is no small feat to remember a song, six weeks after its release, let alone six years later.

So what is it that makes K-pop girl group T-ara's 2009 single "Like The First Time" worth talking about after all these years?

In a word, it's the songwriting.

The production Kwo Chang Hyun on "Like The First Time," taken from T-ara's "Absolute First Album," is inventive and lively while remaining in the pocket rhythmically for maximum impact. But it is the composition of the song itself, executed to perfection by T-ara and their in-studio team, which makes "Like The First Time" still sound as fresh as it did the day it was released.

Sure there are some electronic sounds reminiscent of electronic iconoclasts like Aphex Twin or South Korea's own Humming Urban Stereo, but brilliant electronic production can only take you so far.

As anyone who follows the South Korean pop music scene closely (or probably any pop music scene for that matter) knows for certain, you can dress up a cheesy or worn-out chord progression any way you like it. And hey, a lot of listeners may even go along for the ride. But the skeleton of the song must be something special for a song to be something any restless dance music fan will want to revisit as the years go by.

Then again, what's a good song without a great performance by the right performer?

The then five members of T-ara (the group has undergone several controversial lineup changes since '09 and is now a six-piece) used an ethereal restraint with their vocals that seems to be out of fashion in an industry built on one-upmanship.

With shades of sultry singers like Kate Bush, or more recently Charlotte Gainsbourg, "Like The First Time" is an excellent reminder that singing isn't about who can sing the most complicated melodies or hit the highest note.

Ah T-ara, you've got me feeling nostalgic for 2009!

Watch the music video for K-pop girl group T-ara's 2009 single "Like The First Time" RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  T-ARA, K-Pop Throwback


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