150720_seoulbeats_apinkIn the ongoing “battle” of girl groups this summer, A Pink’s comeback was one that racked up a considerable amount of expectation. Not only were their two releases last year deemed solid successes, but their last summer comeback, “No No No,” was also one of the group’s highest charting singles.

Since the their comeback was finalized in mid-June, the group has released a series of teasers staggered over the course of a month, which eventually lead up to their album drop on July 16. This date also saw the release of the music video for the “Remember,” the group’s title track this promotion cycle round.

A Pink is still sticking to the innocent route when it comes to concepts, but last year’s “Luv” saw them deviating from their usual bubblegum pop style of cute and moving towards a more mature image and sound. “Remember” feels like a continuation of “Luv” theme and style-wise. Like its name suggests, the song carries a hint of nostalgia, created primarily by the lyrics and the melody of the piece. However, the instrumentals and dance infuse the energy that renders this song a brighter and more fast-paced version of the previous, making it suited for the season.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akoSG0kRcXw]

150720_seoulbeats_apinkWhile I will give A Pink props for their originality in attempting this combination of styles, the song lacks a coherent way to tie the reminiscence and freshness of “Remember” together. It feels somewhat odd to hear wistful lyrics such as “I am losing my smile as time passes by / Now we can’t look back, we can’t look forward, we are all worn out” while the melody is gets progressively cheerier in anticipation of the chorus. The refrain also isn’t particularly loud or impactful, which isn’t so much of a problem on its own, but in the context of this song causes the fun dance that accompanies it to feel slightly restrained.

In terms of the song in itself, it’s an engaging listen for the most part, or at least it had a lot of potential. The introduction seems like it would’ve made an excellent ballad on its own, and the subsequent progression of a faster and livelier beat doesn’t detract from the mood created by the opening; instead, it sets the song up to an interesting start. The verses also sound quite nice, doing their job of building up towards the chorus well, and the pan flutes add an interesting timbre which, in my opinion, is one of the defining sounds of this piece.

150720_seoulbeats_apinkHowever, there are moments in the song that throw off the listener, affecting their enjoyment of the piece as a whole. The refrain starts off tastefully — Eunji’s deep and rich voice does a good job of highlighting the refrain when the composition lacks in doing so — but instead of developing the melody further after her lines, the chorus proceeds to repeat the melody in a different key.

This not only throws the listener off slightly but also loses the momentum the song had been building until then. The last refrain also disappoints in a similar way: after the high note in the bridge, the song essentially creates the minimum amount of impact possible by putting a few lines of pure instrumentals instead of some thickly textured vocals. What bothers me the most is the actual ending of the piece, which leaves us hanging on a “do you remember,” and while I suppose it gives the song something to differentiate it from many others, I would’ve liked a resolution to the piece, preferably by the music-box-like accompaniment present in the first few lines of the song.

150720_seoulbeats_apinkThe music video, on the other hand, came as a pleasant surprise. The teasers made it obvious the group would be going for the typical summer themed MV, complete with sunshine and beach shots, and while the final product didn’t prove to be otherwise, it was a summer MV done well. Showcasing the members of A Pink playing and fooling around together in a number of locations, the video showed impressive aesthetics in both the selection of backdrops as well as the way the members were filmed — almost photoshoot-like in many ways.

I especially enjoyed the array of color palettes presented by the settings, from the pastel shots of the members in the grasses to the vibrant ones of the members by the pool. The styling of the members also allowed them to show a variety of looks, from natural to mature to the colored lenses, which they pulled off surprisingly well; the lenses really worked to bring out their beauty. That’s not to say that the entire video consists of the A Pink members posing for the camera though; the occasional fun moments stand out like a gem, such as the leg crossing shot by the pool, and of course, that entire sequence of them in a room doing what they do best — being dorky.

Overall, A Pink’s “Remember” may be a treat for fans and those who will actually spend time watching the music video and listening to the song for its redeeming elements. However, for casual listeners, “Remember” may come off as messy or random to some. Either way, with the group having made their summer comeback, I’m wishing A Pink all the best in their promotions!

MV Rating: 4.5/5

Song Rating: 2.75/5

(YouTube, Images via Acube Entertainment)