We last heard from Cignature in late 2021 when their title track Boyfriend opted for familiar “Top 40” pop tropes that could have been pulled from any global music market. New single Aurora (오로라) returns to a more quintessentially K-pop sound, offering a straightforward take on the bubbly energy that fueled past comebacks like Arisong and ASSA.
Your experience with Aurora will likely hinge on your feelings about chirpy, truncated melodies. The song’s verses are filled with these cutesy sing-talk moments. It’s not a style I’m very fond of, but there are moments when Aurora takes flight. After a fitful verse, the pre-chorus sweeps in with renewed focus and drive. If the entire song sounded this way, we could have a real standout on our hands. Unfortunately, the track reverts to chirpy hooks for its boisterous chorus. I like how the instrumental fleshes out here, and the melodies are certainly catchy. But, the constant rounding up of the vocal lines results in an affected aegyo that doesn’t fulfill the potential of the pre-chorus.
Similarly, Aurora’s verses have a difficult time crafting a consistent energy. The second verse is particularly frustrating, slowing to a crawl before shifting key for a few high notes. It’s a shame, because there’s a lot to like about this song. Even with its incessant aegyo tropes, the chorus is strong and memorable. At its best, Aurora delivers a bright blast of feelgood pop that’s well-targeted to these cold winter months. I’d love to see Cignature build on its strengths for their next comeback.