Apink celebrated their 9th anniversary on April 19th, establishing themselves as seniors in the K-pop industry. While they may have never been as wildly successful as their contemporaries, they have maintained a solid fanbase and consistently put out decent music. Their brand for the first part of the career consisted of bubbly pop songs and girly concepts. However, in 2018, with “I’m So Sick,” Apink ventured to evolved with a more mature sound and sexier look. They continued the trend with “Eung Eung” and now with the latest single, “Dumhdurum.” However, Apink does not follow through with this concept for the rest of their latest album, Look. In fact, Look sometimes pulls from their earlier work instead of pushing forward with their evolution.
To start off the list, “Dumhdurum” follows suit with their previous singles with a more casual and breezy song. While it does not have that great of a hook as their previous singles, it still shows Apink’s efforts to evolve with their music and fanbase. The song itself is about letting a former lover know that you are fine after a breakup. However, the lyrics suggest this is all front to hide their sadness. If Apink had used this song as the standard for the overall concept of their album, they probably could have put together a more cohesive album.
“Love is Blind”, “Yummy, and “Moment” do not have too much in common other than they worked better with Apink’s chic concept. “Love is Blind” is a fun mid-tempo song with a great hook and chorus. It shows that just because the girls are older now does not mean that their songs have to be boring or overly serious. This song also could have been released as a single as it matches “Dumhdurum’s” quality. The song has a retro 80’s feel that works well with their breezy voices.
Speaking of breezy, “Yummy,” also carries that carefree vibe and breathy voices that work great with the song’s mid-tempo beat. This is one of two of the only songs that are about a positive experience with love. The lyrics are simple and about comparing their love to honey. It is a cute and light-hearted song that does not take itself too seriously. It has a great hook that different members deliver:
“I love it babe, like sweet honey, yeah.”
“Moment” is a beautiful ballad that balances out all of the other songs. With “Moment” the members still start off with whispery voices but switch to clearer voices for the strong chorus. Eungi brings the chorus to its knees when she delivers her high pitch notes. The song also has a beautiful arrangement of synths that give it a magical sound as if it should have been the OST of a romantic K-drama.
If the album had stopped with just the songs already listed, it probably would not have been as disappointing. However, “Overwrite”, “Be Myself,” and “Everybody Ready” did not have the same vibe as the rest of the album. “Overwrite’s” lyrics and the melody start off fine but, unfortunately, it just did not have that great of the chorus. The repetition of the word “overwrite” lacks the same grace as the chorus of “Moment.” “Be Myself” would have fit with the other mid-tempo songs if it did not have such an overly generic melody with overused tropical beats. The song’s arrangement does a disservice to its great concept about being true to yourself. The voice of the song declares that they will no longer allow their romantic partner to stifle their personality:
I don’t want to feel miserable beside you anymore
I wanna go back now oh baby
I will find my lost self
I ’ll just be myself
Myself before I knew you…
The last song on the album, “Everybody Ready” is an upbeat pop song that sounds like it was just added on for filler. On top of having a generic melody with a cringy cheerleader-like chorus, it does nothing for the album or for Apink’s image. It does not properly display their vocal talents nor is it a great arrangement for a song.
Apink is a decent girl group that will probably still be around for ages as long as they keep putting out high-quality singles. They have already shown that can evolve with their music and are not stuck on keeping their brand the same cookie-cutter concepts. However, this last album could have been arranged better to bring out more of their talents and follow through with their elegant concept.
(YouTube. Lyrics via LyricsKpop. Images via Play M Entertainment.)