SM Entertainment’s resident funky fresh girl group, f(x), will be returning next week with their follow-up single, “Hot Summer.” A 1o-second audio teaser of the new song was aired on today’s Inkigayo. Check it out below:

f(x) released their first full-length album about a month ago, and the album – or, rather SM- has been criticized for its abundance of cover songs primarily by European artists. The lead track, “Pinocchio,” was no exception, as it is a Korean cover of Albanian-American singer Kristine Elezaj‘s “Razor.”

When the title of f(x)’s follow-up track was announced, many fans were already considering the possibility that the song would be a cover of “Hot Summer” by German girl group Monrose. And, lo and behold, the fans were right.

It’s widely known that SM has bought many of their songs from overseas producers since DBSK‘s “Mirotic” in 2008, but the trend seems to be growing lately, especially with what’s been evidenced by f(x)’s album. To be honest, I don’t find SM’s chronic song remake habit to be all that offensive – I find the Monrose song rather catchy and am excited to see how f(x) will put its own spin on it. But it’s getting to the point where I’m beginning to wonder if SM’s composers have all just run out of steam or something – which isn’t a great sign because, well, SM’s got at least seven artists that are currently active under their label and are in constant need of new material. And if SM’s dependence on using overseas material has become that obvious, then I think it’s time for them to reevaluate.

But more importantly is how this whole remake thing affects f(x) alone. The material on f(x)’s new album is pretty atypical in terms of SM’s usual style. This is partly because practically half the songs on the album are covers, and partly because it’s pretty apparent that SM’s trying to give f(x) a weird, Europop-y spin in terms of both their music and their image. Now,we’re seeing SM buying and remaking all these European songs and giving them to f(x) in an effort to build this whole European, pseudo-hipster thing that f(x) is going for. What worries me is if SM really wants to maintain this funky ‘European’ thing with f(x) but can’t create enough of their own original music to supplement it, then f(x)’s image is going to flop faster than the time in which Thomas Troelsen (producer of BoA‘s “Eat You Up,” DBSK’s “Mirotic,” SHINee‘s “Love Like Oxygen,” amongst many, many others) can fly from Denmark to Korea and attempt to fix things.

Or maybe f(x) is going to drop the whole European hipster vibe after this album and come back in a few months with something that sounds – you know, vaguely normal. I probably wouldn’t put my money on it, but hey – no one knows. It just kinda sucks that SM is beginning to lose its creative edge (or whatever edge it had to begin with) especially in this day and age where mediocre rookie groups are sprouting up every week and fans are hoping for an artist from one of the Big Three to make a comeback and fix things. But if SM’s going to keep up with this trend of acquiring their music from overseas, then I’m not sure if there’s much hope to be had.

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