Track: Dolls | Artist: Nine Muses | Album: Dolls (single)

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Nine Muses is one of those groups that exist in that uncomfortable grey area between success and failure: never really achieving breakout status, but also never stumbling badly enough that their agency decides to cut its losses.

So they struggle on, quietly debuting one solid bop after another, hoping for the day when they will earn the reputation they deserve—because as far as quality and consistency go, Nine Muses is a textbook case of picking a solid concept and executing it with precision. I’ve featured Dolls here (as my favorite), but their lineup of title tracks—Gun, Glue, Drama, to their latest release with Love City—all tell the same story: Nine Muses is unapologetically sexual, and they’re not afraid to play that to their strengths.

Unlike many of their contemporaries (they debuted in 2010, which is ancient in K-Pop years), Nine Muses is still nominally active, although they no longer have nine members as their name may suggest. They’ve released a respectable number of singles, EPs, and studio albums. As of 2017, the remaining Nine Muses members—Kyungri, Hyemi, Sojin and Geumjo—have remained in K-Pop, although with their hiatus quickly approaching a full year, the future remains uncertain.