The Korea Herald


[Album review] Despite changes, Lovelyz is still Lovelyz

By Hong Dam-young

Published : April 25, 2018 - 15:44

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Loen Entertainment  

Unlike many K-pop competitors that juggle genres and concepts under pressure to keep impressing fans, Lovelyz has rarely stepped out of its pink wonderland, seemingly completely immune to any teardrops or sadness in life. For the first time, the eight-piece K-pop darlings soaked up a small drop of pain in its break-up song “That Day,” a lead track from the recent EP “Healing.” The irresistible nature of those happy Tinker Bells, however, doesn’t seem to have changed despite a comparatively big transition considering the act’s stubborn conviction for “happy” music.

While many K-pop girl group songs are often described as “bubbly” and “vivacious,” heavily smothered in synths and breathy vocals, Lovelyz’s “Healing” is like fresh green food that one consumes to soothe the tummy. Somewhere between melancholy and bubbly, the lead track “That Day” isn’t an ultimate cheer up songs like the group’s previous breakout hits “Ah-Choo” and “Twinkle.” But the slightly toned-down breakup song offers both freshness and warmth in its own way, as Lovelyz unleashes its pink wonderland vibe in its hook, where it sings “at the tip of my nose Haa! In my mouth Hoo!” as if blowing fresh mints to one’s face.

Led by electronic guitar sound, “Bizarre” and “Shining Star” are more upbeat and dramatic in their quirky melodies, perhaps catchier than the lead track. But the real hidden gem in the album is “Temptation,” a dreamy and unexpectedly sultry tune that immediately invites listeners to a purple-tinged world where the innocent girls transform into mature women veiled in mystery. And the album’s biggest surprise comes with the unprecedented rapping of band leader Baby Soul -- crispy and charismatic -- also a nuanced testimonial of Lovelyz’s bold move. But don‘t worry, Lovelzys goes back to being itself with the balladry “Watercolor,” where they still excel in delivering the purest and sweetest sound as it always has.

Lovelyz is one of the few K-pop acts that usually live up to public expectation, but it has shown that taking some bolder moves won’t do any harm, as it still belongs in its pink wonderland.