If there is one thing Sunny Hill could be counted on for, it would be how they seem to be able to put some serious into K-pop. Granted, the songs may not be as hard-hitting or as conceptually avant-garde as the stuff of the past, but they still have got that slight edge that makes them enjoyable for the thinkers in K-Pop. And yes, their music videos always make for a fun watch.

Their latest effort, “Love Actually,” appears to be a more positive spin on the topic of love, after the bittersweet “Goodbye To Romance,” which looked at first loves, and “Is the White Horse Coming?” which looked at the problem of expectations and ideal types. Let’s see if a more topically upbeat love song makes for good listening.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MStMdxnrYyY]

In terms of composition and lyrics, the song is definitely a step down from previous works with largely generic lyrics about those little joyous feelings when one is in love, as well as a slightly clever metaphor which compares being in love to a heart fluttering up and down. Well, I would credit them for that line given how love is literally ups and downs.

Another thing worth complementing this song for is the largely pleasant vocal work and the simple but effective instrumentation, 20130406_seoulbeats_sunnyhillidealwhich helps make the song an acceptable low-key listen.

If the song is likely to please Sunny Hill fans, but leave those who loved their material circa-2011 wanting more, then it would be very heartening to know that the music video still maintains traces of their offbeat cool.

The video opens with the three members of Sunny Hill having a discussion on the ideal guy that they desire in life, complete with some utterly tongue-in-cheek discussions of ideal body ratios and ripped muscles. Just then the ideal guy (played by comedian Kim Sung-won) steps into the café and the members start imagining themselves in the most ridiculously over the top, yet clichéd situations.

If it all starts to sound like a joke, it is definitely not, for the video direction skirts very nicely along the lines of parody and ensures that we laugh along with it, not at it. To top it all off, there is a slightly amusing twist near the end of the story, plus some obligatory Kwanghee hamming it up for the cameras. While I might not be the biggest fan of that guy, casting him 20130406_seoulbeats_sunnyhillideal2here for a cameo pays off as he plays nicely to type and is funny in small doses. Kim Sung-won also does a nice job of playing the exaggerated form of ideal lover.

I also enjoyed the nice little visual touches nearing the end of the video, where the members hold up objects that represent how they visualized the ideal type, as well as the effects which added to the romance of the moments. It also was funny how the ideal type was placed into the workplaces of the Sunny Hill members (a hairdressers’ and a floral shop) to show the power of fantasy thinking.

To sum up, what we have here is a song that is a cut above what most other girl groups are doing, but a step behind what they are capable of, and is largely saved by a well-thought out MV that sets one thinking (not too seriously of course). For being a good but not great effort, this song (and MV) gets a combined score of 3.5 from me. But to be honest, “Is the White Horse Coming?” was a far more impressive effort.

(Loen Entertainment)