All right, before I get started on this review, let me just clearly state that Boa’s a legend. She’s SM Entertainment’s reigning empress and one of the most important figures in the industry. The fact that she’s still active after so many years is incredible. All that said, her new single, “Nega Dola,” is a mess. Boa has mentioned more than once lately that her main concern at this moment in her career is maintaining relevance with younger audiences. This worry has clearly affected “Nega Dola” negatively, because it tries to rope together too many youthful trends and ends in chaos. But even if the song itself were well-constructed, Boa still wouldn’t be able to carry off the concept. It doesn’t suit her. By trying to get hip, she loses her classy touch, and without it, there’s not much that’s compelling about her performance.
“Nega Dola” kicks off with a Mediterranean-flavored acoustic guitar but within a few moments picks up dance, electronic, hip-hop, funk and even alternative sounds, all seemingly at random. There’s no organization or dynamic structure whatsoever. I’m actually shocked that this song came out of SM, because I tend to think of SM’s producers as the masters of genre-blending. As I mentioned, it’s unlikely that “Nega Dola” would have been effective even if did successfully incorporate all these contrasting sounds. That’s because Boa’s voice is too feather-light and classic to pull off this dancey, hip-hop concept. Her usually stunning vocal sounds nasally and thin, and the rap simply feels off. The high notes she belts towards the end of the hook are a good moment, but there’s not much more I can say for this song. I hope that next time I can see Boa deliver something elegant and moving, something that’s deserving of her power, because this doesn’t hit the mark.
NEGA DOLA: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Flop.
Take a look at Boa’s “Nega Dola” below: