(G)I-DLE is a group that has shown time and time again that they aren’t afraid to switch up their sound. Another thing they aren’t afraid to embrace is a more silly, carefree approach to delivering a message. With their newest lead single, “Queencard,” off of their sixth mini album i feel, the girls dive into the world of satirical songwriting, with mixed results.
After listening to the track, I knew this would be a divisive one in the K-pop community. On one hand, member Soyeon, who writes for the group, expressed how she wanted to not focus on delivering serious messages or morals for a moment and just do something fun. The song is definitely campy, with it’s at times off the cuff lyrics (the line “My boob and booty is hot” is definitely a jarring thing to hear each time the chorus comes in) and it’s emphasis on how hot and sexy the members feel. It’s very surface level, and evokes the silliness of popular K-pop songs of the early 2010s, which no doubt contributes to its catchiness. The track does take a turn in the outro where the girls proclaim “A girl that can wear anything…Skinny or fat girl,” in a slightly more body-positive moment, ultimately ending with the message that anyone can be a queen, and they should be themselves.
The struggle I have with this song is whether the comedic take on the lyrics are actually effective, or if the group falls victim to the very thing they are making fun of. Again, the most sentimental part of the song comes right at the end, while earlier in the song they’re comparing themselves to Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande, two women who fall into today’s more expected beauty standards, going against the message of being original and embracing your own looks. Honestly, the song needs to either go all out with the absurdity so the sarcasm was obvious, or include bits of biting criticism if it truly wants to be satire, especially if they spend the whole song singing about superficial beauty standards but then suddenly back off and do a 180 at the end; what that tells me is that there was a lack of commitment to the bit. At the end of the day, while I can appreciate that (G)I-DLE is trying something different, but if they’re going to experiment, there can still be needed refinement to it.