Release date: November 14th, 2017
- 종소리 (Twinkle)
- 삼각형 (Triangle)
- 그냥 (Just)
- 비밀정원 (Secret Garden)
- 졸린 꿈 (A Sleepy Dream)
Total Runtime: 00:22:52
Recommended for: Lovelyz fans, people who stick to songs that have a distinctive, and uncommon signature sound, fans of electro-pop, dance and game-like or quirky sounds. And people who are already in the mood for Christmas.
Not recommended for: People who like a variety of styles and prefer hip-hop or more powerful sounds over cute/quirky sounds. People who feel like Grinch every year and are not planning to get in the mood for Christmas. Not now, not ever.
Lovelyz came back after 5 months from their second repackaged album, with a brand new mini album, in celebration of their 3rd Anniversary. The tracks are a fusion of lovely melodies, Christmassy tones and the classic electro-pop sound which is their signature music style, even more emphasized this time around, despite the fact that their historical composer OnePiece is sitting out for this comeback. Some of the new composers who took part in the album are 1Take, TAK, BEE and Razer of the duo Rphabet. The EP consists of 7 tracks.
From this intro alone, we can already guess how heavily electro-pop-influenced this album will be, especially since this is a prelude to the title track. The sound of bells is meshed together very well with synth tones and electronic sounds. This is probably their weakest intro track and yet, still a good introduction to their more complex title track.
The beginning of the title track gives a Christmassy, holiday vibe, but it also has an anime opening feeling. In fact, the verses and the instrumental parts are all heavily influenced by J-pop. They remind me of some Kyaru Pamyu Pamyu or Perfume songs. Not that I’m complaining — I’d love to see more of that in K-pop. However, despite the nice start, the pre-chorus and the chorus are a bit disappointing, albeit catchy. It’s like they took two parts that are different from each other and merged them together, hoping for a good result. The outcome is that the pre-chorus could have done without Jiae’s “Ding Dong Deng” in a baby voice, as well as Jisoo’s baby voice (though I can say they definitely did it so that it remains in your head for a long long time!). But it gets better with the girls’ harmonization that brings us directly to the chorus. Kei’s and Baby Soul’s vocals really saved the chorus, but it still feels misplaced and a bit messy.
This song is another track that opens with game-like effects and heavy synths. Its atmosphere is quite romantic though, due to the violin strings and melodic arrangements that go very well with the most rhythmic part of the song, given by percussion, bass and background guitar strings. Perhaps, this song would have been more apt for spring time, since it’s quite upbeat, lively, fresh but still dreamy and nostalgic. The vocals are pretty good and there’s an interesting contrast in the verses where the vocals are so light while the backing track is really heavy. Sujeong’s breathy voice at the end, with the sound that fades, is simply heavenly.
This song is everything I would want in an album. It’s a song that I would define as unpredictable. One moment, it seems to go in a certain direction, and the next it’s taking the complete opposite one. The brass and quite unsettling opening line “bam ba, bam ba ba”, accompanied by triumphant sounds, trumpet and eclectic effects, flows again in a synth rhythm. The game-like effects are a lot, like the previous track. Where the verses have a buoyant feel, the pre-chorus is slightly moody. It slows down with Jin and Mijoo’s deep vocals. An interesting sound here is the 50’s style trumpet and clarinet in the background. And after this, the use of piano and strings create a polished road to the chorus that, again, is in upbeat style, very catchy (the “geunyang geunyang geunyang” won’t leave my head) but also mature and intense. The bridge is something I’ve probably never heard before. It’s like the synths, the game-like sounds, are increased tenfold creating a thick, impenetrable and rich layer of sound which surely gives an exciting vibe. The last bit of it reduced to only Sujeong’s voice and a piano in blues style, in a calm and delightful tone. I also like that the vocals in some parts are playful and cute, while in others, they become low and serious. The two souls of the song complete one another very well.
This song opens with an emotional piano, an unusual but fitting harp, and soft vocals which give a sad atmosphere to the verses. Despite that, it could be classified as a power ballad because the chorus changes softly and gently in a stronger beat with intense vocals. It still maintains the melancholy though. However, the male backing vocals in the chorus are a bit distracting and off-putting. In general, the vocals are nice but a bit too plain and flattened out to the point where they make the song a bit boring and bland. Until we reach the bridge where we have Jin’s intense high note. The violin towards the end brings a much more emotional energy.
비밀정원 (Secret Garden)
This song is pretty diverse compared to the others. It starts with a gentle piano and the effect of a water drop falling in a wistful vibe. Then, the tempo changes and it’s much faster; the melody is much more explosive, more mature, more sensual, and the intense synths are again the protagonist of the track. It’s peculiar that this first part of the song is already the chorus. It all slows down in the verses with different effects and light vocals. Sujeong and Mijoo vocals fit this song perfectly. The piano of the second part of the bridge, together with Jisoo’s breathy and gloomy vocals create an interesting contrast with Kei’s clear vocal tone soon after. Here the percussion are much more pronounced, and the castanets that are in the background for most of the song add a passionate and vigorous feelings to it.
졸린 꿈 (A Sleepy Dream)
This song seems to be really perfect for a Disney movie or something similar. It has some magic in it. And I believe that, despite not being upbeat like Triangle or Just, it can be considered a “jumpy” song but still delicate at the same time. The synths are always there accompanied by bells which pick up again the Christmassy atmosphere that opened the mini album. If the verses are very subtle, soft and dainty, the pre-chorus and the chorus are much stronger in percussion and in “hard” sounds, but have a hopeful sound. The bridge is very beautiful with violins and Sujeong’s light and airy vocals.