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BoA Slays the Day with “Camo”

The Queen of K-Pop is back with a bang! BoA surprised the world when the first teaser for her new single “Camo” dropped during a commercial break in the middle of the almost four-hour live finale of Produce 101 Season 2. It made perfect sense to drop it then; the entire country was watching, and BoA’s direct connection to the show made it all the more relevant. It was still a complete shock to see the ultra-quick teaser with no sort of heads-up beforehand. The single’s existence had been kept so tightly under wraps that no one was prepared.

SM Entertainment released “Camo” on June 26, just over a week after the teaser first dropped, and the K-Pop community shook. Okay, so that’s a little extreme. But the almost one million people who watched it within 24 hours of its release were reminded yet again why BoA is known as the queen. The bass-heavy dance number falls into a comfortable, smooth groove immediately, backed by subtle synth sounds.

What really stands out here, like in most of her tracks, is BoA’s amazing voice. There’s a reason why she’s made it in such a hugely competitive industry for almost 17 years now. What’s better is that The Underdogs, who produced “Camo” as well as other hits like EXO’s “Overdose” and Girls’ Generation’s “Mr. Mr.,” understood this perfectly, making any backing vocals almost so faint that you might not even notice them.

The music video for “Camo” fits BoA’s more mature aesthetic perfectly. The sleek styling matched with the color-infused visuals is a treat for every viewer, never leaving you without something to look at. The effects sprinkled into the video—from the projections running across her bare skin to the metallic skin seemingly creeping up her neck and face as she sings—make everything more visually appealing without coming across as too gimmicky.

One of the most striking aspects of the video, however, is that there’s hardly ever more than one color—aside from black, white, and gray—used at one time in a shot. Scenes with red are either predominantly red with hints of black and white, or are almost all monochromatic with subtle red accents. This creates less visual noise, which means your brain is actually freed up a little to enjoy the music even more. It’s a subtle and effective technique to boost the viewer’s focus on the song while not drawing it away from the video. The few scenes that do include multiple colors are either lightning-quick snapshots or are shown during groove points in the song that aren’t key moments.

Overall, “Camo” is an impressive track. It’s no surprise that SM Entertainment created such a stunning finished product for a single. There’s no physical album with this release, but when you’re BoA, you don’t really need one. While it’s easy to expect quality from an artist who continues to release great tracks, I’m glad BoA still finds a way to surprise and amaze us after 17 years in the industry. That’s truly the biggest testament to her talent.