My life has been pretty enjoyable lately nn sorry about that, we will continue but first let me share another spotlight...
Ahh Kei my precious cinnamon bun >.< *throws up* sorry for being a BTS / Stray Kids stan for a moment ! Kei is one of my favorite idol not only in Lovelyz, but in K-pop as a whole.
I think what I like the most about her is how she's incapable of doing other concept than being cute and innocent ffffff. Like seriously, girl is smiling throughout the Sixth Sense performance as if it's an Apink song ! Her super demure, feminine attitude along with her chubby cheeks and round face make her seems like a perfect recipe for Japanese idol industry, but not in K-pop where the trend starts to favor girl-crush and sharp faces.
And I love her for that ! I love seeing her being chronically cute and can't do 'sexy' stuff on camera. I love seeing an idol who can do aegyo naturally and don't make me cringe that much. She's an antithesis to every international fans expect from a K-pop idol, a literal anime character, a dollface goddess.
But that doesn't mean Kei is all visual without talent to back her up. Sure, her dancing skill isn't that special, but her vocal is truly one of a kind. In a sea of K-pop companies training their idols in uniform vocals and penchant for high-note / screaming, Kei has that signature feeling on her voice that I absolutely love. Her voice sounds mature yet charming, dramatic yet vulnerable. Kei sounds like she's meant to be in 80s, performing proto city-pop in Japan alongside legends like Miki Matsubara or Mariya Takeuchi. Absolutely amazing.
Seeing her vocal ability and her penchant for Disney-esque aesthetics based on her solo debut, it makes perfect sense that now Kei is mainly musical artist, signed to Palmtree Island , an agency that mainly focuses on musical acts. Recently, she has acted in "Midnight Sun" musical alongside SHINee's Onew and GOT7's Youngjae. Congratulations bestie, hope you find success in this new lane !
Oh also there is this collaboration of Kei with an indie band The Solutions and it SLAPS !
Our first elimination today is Like U, the main b-side from Sanctuary EP. Like U is written and produced by 1Take, TAK and ARRAN who also produce recent PJ favorite, Kwon Eunbi's Glitch.
Like U is another stellar masterpiece added to Lovelyz's repertoire. Taking inspiration from Oh My Girl's semi-hit at that year Secret Garden, 1Take & Tak create similar massive-sounding chorus and pair it with more electrifying, complextro-esque production they've known for. The result is Like U sounds full and rich of texture, with the verses and the bridge providing a breathing ground before the chorus bang us once again.
The dramatiqueness of Like U reach its peak on the bridge of course. The stellar understated delivery from Mijoo and Jisoo, to theatrical emotive performances from Kei and Jin, to Sujeong's final cry before the chorus completely kicks off and Babysoul delivering final high-note. Aaah I'm gagged, vomit on it and eat it again !
RUNAWAY simply utter the most gay comment of it all : "YAS" while Slice of Life felt deja vu : " Wait, is this a remake? I feel like I have heard this before omfg. I like it tho!!!" Is it the same song that I mention bestie ? The negative nancy Wills displeased with the verse instead : "That chorus is seriously great, sadly it really takes its sweet time getting there".
Sanctuary EP lose its final b-side, as Daydream, another e.one produced gem in Lovelyz's discography. Daydream was our potential winner of this rate, occupying #1 for a brief time before additional votes continue to push it down further. Blame it on the edit FunkyButChic !
Daydream is quintessential e.one song, like you could hear every single trick they had being used here. The super upbeat disco template, big chorus, complicated melodies with less reliance on simple hooks, electronic flourishes.
In some ways, I always felt Daydream is borderline too similar to WJSN's Miracle or another variant of Miracle nn. From what I heard, Daydream differs a bit by using more modern (?) and more electronic approach, compared to WJSN-e.one collaboration tracks that favors traditional disco. I don't know, I'm talking out of my ass. Similarity aside, I do love Daydream. It slaps and the chorus is massive, but when I kinda rarely play it because sometimes I suffer from fatigue on e.one formula.
Slice of Life commend his love : " I love me some emotional bop, I really do." Then why you give Joyland a 8 ?!!! Last but not least, the #1 stan of e.one, ysev proclaims : " A classic e.one production. You just never know where the melody of an e.one track will go, but one thing’s for sure: it’s gonna be a gorgeous place. I also listened to this on loop during the embarrazzing reveals of the first season of k-slasher. Ah, the memories!" Speaking of K-slasher, can somebody host it again ? The forum is kinda dry like your vuhjaina.
I'm sleepy now so once again I fail my promise ffffff, #11 and Top 10 tomorrow xoxo
The b-sides sadly keep losing and this time it's the b-side from Heal EP, Temptation. Temptation is written and produced by part of 1Piece, the musician Davink.
Temptation is an example of how Lovelyz could progress and make a change in their concept without abandoning completely their signature sound. It's mature, sensual, mystical musical journey all in one with melancholic Davink's brand of synth-pop guiding us through it.
It's an absolute chilling experience whenever I listen to Temptation. The synths are very typical Lovelyz / Davink at this point, but they manage to arrange it into something exciting. It felt like a whirlwind, enhancing the main melody that felt like the most dramatic retelling of breakup of all time.
But the magic don't stop there, when Babysoul bust the door open and give the best K-rap performance in history. CL whomst ? Soyeon ? Go play the ping pong instead ! But in seriousness, I absolutely adore the final rap section and how Babysoul deliver it. And when it eventually all collapses into a sparse synths and piano, like a rainbow after the storm. Their mind when they craft this WTF, it amazes me all the time !
Nothing but praises come from you all thankfully, my friend Hawari can eat shit tho. We start with Wills and Slice of Life who weirdly praise the album instead : "Wtf this mini is so good" and " Ok, this is perfect too. Actually this album is perfect for the summer." Huh ? I don't really felt summer in this, are you okay bb ? Did something heartbreaking happen in summer ?. RUNAWAY only utters : " iconic." and once again ysev had the last words : " A trailblazing piece of art. There’s no song that sounds like this or is structured like it. Lovelyz innovators of pop! And Babysoul? Giving every main rapper a run for their money." EXACTLY BESTIE.
The worst thing is Temptation never performed live. I don't know if Lovelyz don't want to piss their beta male fanbase or what by acting more mature, but it's truly a wasted potential ! Let me plug Mijoo's cover of Heroine and teaser for queen of K-pop fromis_9 here ! Give it up to fromis_9 you guys !
After a long night of hooking journey, we reach our Top 10. The majority of it are understandably singles, but some b-sides manage to take a spot.
Welcome to the Lovelyz8
A New Trilogy
R U Ready ? / Now, We
Fall In Lovelyz
Lost n Found
Once Upon A Time
Beautiful Days (When We Were Us)
Close To You
Dream In A Dream
Will a b-side could make it into Top 5 ? Which song will depart first ? Stay tune and make a prediction of your Top 10 !
Omg I didn’t expect For You to be this loved and it makes me so happy?????? Definitely deserving of a spot in the top 10! Happy to see Beautiful Days in the top 10 too! I love when underrated talent is recognized, yes I do!!
Aww sad to see Temptation drop before the top 10, but... whew, that's a seriously great list of songs! I'd say either 'Lost n Found' or 'Beautiful Days' can go next – mostly for covering much of the same ground – but everything left is pretty much solid gold. Good work prolapses!
Oop- we say goodbye to codecat's 11, the christmassy single Twinkle. Twinkle is the first collaboration of Lovelyz with 1Take & TAK team.
Twinkle is Lovelyz going full Perfume / Nakata Yasutaka nn, literally it sounds like it will fit comfortably in JPN or Level3. Despite the comparison, Twinkle still retains its Lovelyz quality. For example, the massive and rich of high-note choruses is only capable to be performed by group like Lovelyz.
Besides the Perfume-esque synths work and massive chorus, what I like the most is how unabashedly loud Twinkle is. Right from the start, Twinkle is unafraid to go for the jugular. Twinkle completely crush and break the stereotype of how Christmas music should be. They said Christmas is a celebration and party is what we gonna do ! Better lose that turkey and cake calories, you fatties !
Now about the MV....It's terrible, second only before Obliviate. Mawma they can't act nn, it's cringy to see them acting like jingling bells is exciting....wait maybe it is. But not that kind of bells, not the plastic one !
The set is shit, the costume is shit, the lighting is shit (the scene at 3:11 when they all turn around and Babysoul face is completely hidden by the sun ffffff a VIOLATION !), the filter is shit and giving RPDR season 1 realness. I hate it all so much !
codecat sadly don't comment anything, hopefully he has a meltdown right after this post. Wills's comment something about nickel : "Someone really put a nickel in them" while RUNAWAY nails the comparison : " Their Sweet Refrain serve! Honestly, even though this is a ripoff, this is a FANTASTIC song, and one of their best ever singles. <3" fff yeah I can hear it, it's okay tho copying a masterpiece tho, should've been encouraged. Slice of Life praises all the right points of Twinkle : " Giving this a 10 because of the bombastic chorus and especially the wig-snatching ad libs and high notes."
Oh they also had performed rock version of Twinkle (along with Destiny) before. Dreamcatcher found dead in a ditch !
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and as much as I love 1cm....... I wish I'd given my 11 to this fffff. Talk about a perfect song! I think my favourite part is the second verse, where it sounds like they all need to catch their breath for a moment, because oof – same.
Another single bite the dust and it's the fanclub / fan-service single, For You. For You is written and produced by Heuk Tae and Jo Seung-joon.
Releasing For You during December is such a daring move, to be sounding so hopeful and full of energy in the winter seasons. Yet it kinda made sense in the metaphorically context.
Paired with the gorgeous MV, For You is like a recollection, a glimmer of hope that the winter storm will eventually pass away and the sun will shine again. It's like a warm hug and back rubs from your closest one, reassuring you that it will eventually be okay and they will be there with you. It's a simple yet such a beautiful message.
Sonically, For You indeed departs quite a bit from Lovelyz usual stuff and tethering into 00s new jack swing sound that GFriend is more known for. Heck, it even sounds like a completely inspired remake of BoA's Atlantis Princess nn. However, For You remains a great song, like everything about it is perfect. The chorus is big and anthemic, the production is deliberately 90s yet still experiment a bit by mixing samba / bossa nova-lite guitar during the second pre-chorus.
The MV is so cute. It's basically a vlog of the girlies being cute, natural and normal doing cute, beautiful summer things ! It's crazy how filter and camera angle could make anything gorgeous because I just knew in reality these cities and laundromat don't look like that nn. Also Jiae with that big ass pink fur jacket in the middle of snowy day is camp.
FunkyButChic doesn't leave any commentary on why they give this a low score, so let's see positive commentaries instead. Wills can't resist the goodness of For You : "I wanted to give this my 11 but didn't because it kinda veers away from their typical M.O into something more generic... but fuck it's good" and Slice of Life felt that radiation too : " I feel like this is so underrated?????? It deserves more attention because it’s simply perfect. Definitely in my top 3 Lovelyz title tracks."
RUNAWAY points out the similarities with an iconic classic : " This song kind of gives me Into the New World feels and I like that. It gets a 10." Both of them take a big inspiration from 00s sound that BoA and S.E.S popularize so there's that ! Ana Raquel points to different direction : " My favorite single of theirs. SO feels good. I would even say lowkey city-popish but that's probably wrong. it just has a similar impact on me, I guess." Maybe if it's slowed + reverb I can see it.
Our last e.one produced song, Close To You leaves us today. This retro banger is our runner-up out of all Lovelyz's b-side, leaving Dream In A Dream as the best b-side by our choice. Congrats bestie !
But enough about that, let's shower our praises to Close To You. Close To You is glittery, no nonsense straightforward disco bop. All of the elements seems like it's tailored to please fag... I mean homosexuah community.
Due to its shared producer, I can't help but draw similarities of Close To You with IZ*One's Merry Go Round. Both of them has strong disco taste, yet also felt different. Merry Go Round felt more chill and city-pop esque, while Close To You is more traditional and faithful to the 80s. Like it sounds like it could be sung by Donna Summer. The Last Dance of this generation tbh.
The main things that I love from Close To You is how they use the first hook in the bridge with different chord progression. Ugh it's so good, and when the vocals are layered even more in unity at the final chorus. Gagged, fromis_9 found taking notes for their next comeback !
RUNAWAY is obsessed : " obsessed with this song. This entire mini is spectacular." while ysev discriminates ugly people community : " A pastel-colored disco bop for pretty girls only!".
I'm so sad, today we say goodbye to Lovelyz's biggest hit, their signature song, the song that put Lovelyz in K-pop history, Ah-Choo. The national sneezing anthem is written and produced once again by 1Piece.
Like I said before, Ah-Choo is their biggest most-known song for Lovelyz. But its ascension to be a historical K-pop landmark is unprecedented and unexpected, like who would've thought South Korean GP who is notoriously eating up mediocre stuffs from Big Bang and cafe fodder from IU, could get behind a masterpiece like Ah-Choo once in a while.
That doesn't mean I'm discrediting Ah-Choo and its success. It has every element of being a perfect chart topper. A perfectly catchy singable chorus with simple hook and super cheesy yet relatable feeling in its lyrics, which I believe is what makes Ah-Choo so popular at the time.
The first line from Sujeong and Yein highlight it the best :
"I found someone
I’d like to make good food for
I’m not very good at cooking,
But I’m working on it"
It's dumb and cheesy, but there is a heart and honesty in it. A first love, that dumb blind love that universally experienced. A one-sided crazy obsession that we hide behind these stories in diary or fanfiction or these imagination in our brain, that looking back now it's funny that we have that moment. Insert Whitney Houston that's a song everyone could identify with.mp4.
Ah-Choo isn't that experimental either, but it definitely has more sophisticated and detailed production that makes it very surprising SK GP could handle and tolerate it. Right from the beginning, the classical piano riff and haunting bass synths set the tone of the song just right. All of the elements are deliciously funky yet never felt overpowering, from the slap-bass to the nostalgic sawtooth synth pad.
But to me, the main star is the bridge. Wow, what a moment. A moment that I could never forgot. It's just so otherwordly and dramatique. And how Jiae and Kei deliver their lines in the most heartbreaking tone. Bitch I'm crying, and then the song soar into the final chorus like a last confession on your crush. Pick me Ru, PICK ME !
I don't have the strong vernacular to express how godly this song is. It's complex yet easy to consume, full of sounds yet still easy to listen. Cheerful love yet still with strong sad undertones. Maybe it's just the magic of Lovelyz.
Ah-Choo's MV is amazing, as usual a good job from Digipedi. Once again they manage to take a simple premise to the next level, like playing hide and seek never be this fun, quirky and pretty before ! I absolutely love the quirky usage on colors and optical trickery, like the long leg scene and Mijoo's picture camouflage. It's just so funny and packed with personalities.
Just like the song, the MV itself isn't just bunch of girls doing girly things. When it hits the bridge, the haunting imagery of Kei in that closet is so amazing and perfect match to the whole vibes of the bridge. And when it reveals that after all they're actually hiding from the crush Mr. Hoya, it's just so good and simple storytelling. My single complaint is how the color grading is too much for me. It's cute and pastel-ey, but it also felt tiring sometimes to look at.
Many of you simply claimed it as historical pieces like you should, from ysev : " Aaah… that’s history!" and RUNAWAY : " This is the song where I really started to pay attention to them….the comeback they NEEDED.". Slice of Life praise the MV : " Music Video of the Millenium!!!!!!!" while Wills love it but make a bet : "Quintessential, probably ought to win (but won't) (?)". You're correct bestie, tbh I do think Ah-Choo deserved to be in Top 5 but I'm not complaining with current Top 5 either.
To close this post, here's the stage mix, a star is born moment of fromis_9's Jisun while performing Ah-Choo and a great song that's clearly inspired by Ah-Choo too xoxo.