The forever mid-tier girl group Rainbow returned earlier today with the moody Black Swan. Rainbow has consistently failed to achieve in terms of sales despite nearly always putting out interesting music. From the beautiful collaborations with Japanese producer Daishi Dance on To Me and Sweet Dream to the perfect duo mini albums Rainbow Syndrome parts one and two, they have excelled in many different styles. For Black Swan Rainbow leave behind the cutesy image to adopt an edgy, sexy concept that fits them well.
They also sound like they have left behind recent trends in sounds too, as Black Swan sounds like it came from the 2008-2010 era of K-pop. The lowkey electro pop has been replaced by crashing synths recently so it’s refreshing to hear something different. Especially since this song is weirder than one listen might make it seem.
The lyrics are an interpretation of the story of Swan Lake, focusing on the Black Swan. It’s about a woman who doesn’t know who she is anymore. Like in Swan Lake, she is fearful of who she is or might become. She ultimately finds herself again with the help of someone to tell her it’s all a bad dream.
While this idea of what we can assume is a man saving her is derivative and sexist, the ending of the song is interesting. Instead of a happy ending it feels more like the woman is telling herself a lie in order to feel better and more assured in herself, which is something I’m sure that we’ve all done in times of hardship. It offers a story that K-pop doesn’t give us often, and that is immediately interesting.