We predicted that Nine Muses would finally shake off their K-flop tag with their latest single, “Dolls,” and it looks like we were right. The song has been a big digital hit since it’s release yesterday, shooting into the top ten of the Instiz iChart — a real-time chart that combines the sales of all of Korea’s various digital charts into one easy ranking. This is the strongest that a Nine Muses single has ever performed right out of the gate, virtually guaranteeing that “Dolls” will not only become the group’s third consecutive top forty hit on the official singles chart, but potentially even their first top twenty entry.
Interest in the Nine Muses’ comeback has been incredibly high considering their relatively low status in the K-pop scene. They’ve already hit No. 2 on Naver’s real-time search ranking, and their “Dolls” music video release was the most-read story on online K-pop mecca allkpop yesterday. There’s been a lot going on to generate all this buzz, though. Firstly, the group finally has nine members again after the addition of newbie Sung-ah, garnering inevitable comparisons to Korea’s queen bees, Girls’ Generation. They also hyped their return up with the interesting promise of a special sub-unit concept (a promise that was never quite fulfilled), and held an attention-grabbing comeback performance at a military base.
Oh yeah, and the song also happens to be pretty fantastic. Helmed by the Muses’ longtime producer, Sweetune, “Dolls” is a chicer, jazzier take on the group’s retro disco single, “Figaro.” It definitely puts a fresher and more mature spin on the disco sound that has become so big in K-pop since T-ara’s “Roly Poly” that it’s almost become its own K-pop sub-genre, with a more sophisticated vibe that only a grown up group like Nine Muses could really pull off.
With things finally going well for Nine Muses now, their next challenge is to sustain their current success. K-pop moves fast, and it’d be a shame to see “Dolls” become nothing more than a one-week-wonder.